PFAS: Is Less More or Less?

Overcoming Legacy Obstacles with Innovative Approaches
Oral Presentation

Prepared by

Contact Information:; 910-212-5866


There is intense interest in per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) today, which has been steadily growing and appears to be around to stay for some time. To help answer questions about the prevalence of these compounds, chemical analyses are performed to identify and quantify various of these compounds in different environmental media. In the course of developing analyses for these compounds, countless variations have been devised. From EPA Method 537 to TOPS, a number of schemes have been developed to deliver information about these compounds. The general theme of the evolution of these methods seems to be that “More is more”. We’ll look at the various types of analyses being performed (including those in the authors’ lab) and what type of information content each produces. We’ll also look at the utility of the information, considering the reliability thereof and what conclusions may be drawn from the data.

We propose to create a framework for understanding the utility of data for PFAS that considers and incorporates the often-forgotten parameter of measurement uncertainty, along with the known toxic properties of various PFAS. The framework is designed to help all stakeholders design analyses and evaluate them.