Evaluation of QuEChERS Clean-up Procedures for the Analysis of Perfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) in Biological Tissues and Other Complex Solid Matrices

Characterization of Polyfluoroalkyl Substances in the Environment
Oral Presentation

Prepared by S. Estil, A. Tesoro
Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County, 1965 Workman Mill Road, Whittier, CA, 90601, United States

Contact Information: sestil@lacsd.org; 562-908-4288


Perfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) are a class of highly stable, synthetic organic compounds widely used in various commercial and industrial applications. They have been detected in various environmental matrices and are known to be persistent and bioaccumulative. PFAS have been extensively studied in both potable and non-potable aqueous matrices. However, there has yet to be a consensus on which method is most appropriate for solid matrices such as soils, sediments, biosolids, and biological tissues. ASTM D7968 has been developed for PFAS analysis in soils; however it lacks proper clean-up procedures to eliminate possible interferences with HPLC-MS/MS analysis. The method also does not address biological tissues and more complex solid matrices.

The QuEChERS extraction technique has been widely used for chemical residue analysis in biological tissues and our lab has been successful in utilizing this method for the extraction and analysis of Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CECs), including PFAS, in marine and river sediments. In this study, we investigated the use of the QuEChERS extraction procedure for the extraction and determination of these compounds in biological tissues and other complex solid matrices. Several clean-up chemistries in dispersive-SPE and push-through cartridge formats were investigated. Sample preparation, clean-up procedures and analytical performance parameters will be discussed including precision and accuracy, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of the different sorbent chemistries.