Direct Analysis of Per-and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) in Ground, Surface, and Wastewater by LC-MS/MS

Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) in the Environment
Poster Presentation

Prepared by E. George, C. Jacob, C. Martins, M. Volny, A. Atkins
Thermo Fisher Scientific, 355 River Oaks Parkway, San Jose, CA, 95134, United States

Contact Information:; 408-300-4267


Per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have been manufactured and used in a variety of industries around the globe, including in the United States since the 1940s. PFOA and PFOS have been the most extensively produced and studied of these chemicals. Both chemicals are very persistent in the environment and in the human body and accumulate over time. There is evidence that exposure to PFAS can lead to adverse human health effects. As a result, analytical testing has expanded beyond the simple analysis of drinking water, and now is being performed on several matrices such as ground, surface, and wastewater.

In this work, we report a direct analysis method for the determination of a list of 24 PFAS and their surrogates in a wide variety of non-drinking matrices at low concentration levels (ng/L) by LC-MS/MS. Field water samples were provided by the U.S. EPA Region 5 and included reagent water, surface water, ground water and wastewater through a participating EPA study. Each water sample was spiked with a low (60 ng/L) and high level (200 ng/L) of 24 PFAS compounds (N=5) prior to shipment to the lab. Five blank samples of each water matrix were also provided.

Using the ASTM D9797-17 quality control criteria, the results demonstrated that all compounds passed in this method, and that the majority of the PFAS compounds could be quantitated lower than the LLOQ (low limit of quantitation) reporting requirements listed in both ASTM D7979-17 and EPA 8327. Other figures of merit such as calibration linearity, method robustness, recovery, and precision will be discussed.