Matrices Impacted by PFAS

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PFAS contamination can impact a wide range of matrices. Accurate assessment requires the right methods and expertise.

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AFFF

Primary Test Methods: PFAS by Isotope Dilution, DoD QSM v5.3; v5.4, DoD AFFF01, Rev 1.0 (draft), TOP Assay

Traditional AFFF, the primary fire-fighting foam used to fight chemical fires for decades, contains PFAS. While newer FFF (fluorine-free foams) have been developed, AFFF has a long shelf-life and ingredients aren’t always listed clearly. Pace® can test impacted media (soil, wastewater, etc.) and legacy AFFF for PFAS and PFAS precursors.

AIR & EMISSIONS

Primary Test Method: EPA OTM 45

Airborne PFAS are starting to gain more attention from the EPA and state-level agencies. The EPA has published a test method (OTM 45) that can be used to conduct air tests for PFAS contamination. Pace® has adapted OTM 45 with specific protocols to test stack emissions for industrial clients.

ARTICLES OF COMMERCE

Primary Test Methods: Proprietary Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

PFAS is often an ingredient in plastics used for packaging or other commercial and industrial applications such as medical and manufacturing equipment. Pace® has developed proprietary SOPs to support our clients’ efforts to control the spread of PFAS and keep their customers safe.

BIOTA – PLANT & ANIMAL TISSUE

Primary Test Methods: PFAS by Isotope Dilution, DoD QSM v5.3; v5.4, EPA Draft Method 1633

PFAS accumulate in plant and animal tissues just as they do in humans. When people consume products with high levels of PFAS, it can elevate PFAS in their system. Milk and fish are two products of increasing concern for states and Tribal lands. While the EPA continues to research the problem, Pace® is already working with clients to assess PFAS contamination in plant and animal tissues at a local level.

DRINKING WATER

Primary Test Methods: EPA Test Method 537.1, EPA Test Method 533

PFAS in drinking water has received the lion’s share of attention from regulators, the media, and consumer groups. With pending MCLs (Maximum Contaminant Levels) for PFOA and PFOS and UCMR 5 sampling set to begin 2023, creating a comprehensive PFAS strategy is more important than ever. Pace® has provided EPA-compliant PFAS drinking water testing services for more than three decades.

GET THE LATEST ON UCMR 5

UCMR 5 sampling isn’t set to begin until 2023, but Pace® has already been busy helping our customers create sampling strategies and allocate budgets. To learn more about UCMR 5, including updates as the proposal goes though the final rulemaking stages, bookmark our UCMR 5 page and subscribe to receive updates.

GROUND & SURFACE WATERS

Primary Test Methods: PFAS by Isotope Dilution, True-TOF®, DoD QSM v5.3; v5.4, EPA SW-846 Method 8327, EPA Draft Method 1633, AOF, TOP Assay

Many municipalities get their drinking water from underground aquifers or from surface waters, such as rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. When these waters become contaminated with PFAS through run off or direct wastewater discharge, PFAS can contaminate public and private drinking water systems. Pace® offers several testing services that can analyze PFAS in non-potable waters to support remediation and control efforts by local municipalities and industry.

LANDFILL LEACHATE

Primary Test Methods: PFAS by Isotope Dilution, True-TOF®, DoD QSM v5.3; v5.4, EPA SW-846 Method 8327, EPA Draft Method 1633, AOF/EOF, TOP Assay

When a liquid (rain, condensation, liquid waste) passes through solid waste, the liquid byproduct is called “leachate.” If liquid passes through and from waste that contains PFAS, it’s likely that the leachate will too. Industrial landfill is a particular problem because older landfill sites don’t often have leachate collection systems. But municipal landfill can create issues too when contaminated leachate is sent to the local wastewater treatment plant.

SOIL & OTHER SOLIDS

Primary Test Methods: PFAS by Isotope Dilution, DoD QSM v5.3; v5.4, EPA SW-846 Method 8327, EPA Draft Method 1633, AOF/EOF, TOP Assay

Soil and sediment can become contaminated with PFAS through a variety of mediums, such as landfill leachate, wastewater discharge, biosolids, and rainwater runoff. Pace® offers methods for testing soil and sediment for targeted PFAS, non-targeted PFAS, and total organofluorines. We can also test unique solids, such as incinerator ash for products of incomplete combustion (PICs) that can spread PFAS to surrounding neighborhoods.

WASTEWATER

Primary Test Methods: PFAS by Isotope Dilution, True-TOF®, DoD QSM v5.3; v5.4, EPA SW-846 Method 8327, EPA Draft Method 1633, AOF, TOP Assay

Traditional wastewater treatment does not remove PFAS, and it can convert PFAS precursors into terminal PFAS. The EPA has announced plans to introduce new rulings to research and control PFAS through the Effluent Limitations Guidelines (ELG) program and National Pollution Discharge Elimination Systems (NPDES) permitting.

WASTEWATER SLUDGE & BIOSOLIDS

Primary Test Methods: PFAS by Isotope Dilution, DoD QSM v5.3; v5.4, EPA SW-846 Method 8327, EPA Draft Method 1633, AOF/EOF, TOP Assay

According to the EPA, roughly 60% of wastewater sludge is land-applied to agriculture. Since traditional wastewater treatment doesn’t remove PFAS, these biosolids can introduce PFAS into the ecosystem. Some states have begun to restrict the practice of using biosolids as fertilizer, while the EPA expects to complete its risk assessment in late 2024.

REASONS TO CHOOSE PACE®

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EXPERIENCED

Pace® has been an industry leader in persistent organic pollutant testing for over three decades.
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CERTIFIED

We’re certified/accredited by NELAC, ISO, DOD, DOE, and in every state with a PFAS lab certification program.

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RELIABLE

For emergencies, our Rapid Response Team can provide defensible results in as little as 24 hours.

Committed

COMMITTED

We are committed to helping our customers advance their important work through building strong relationships, delivering upon expectations, and providing exceptional customer service.

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ADVANCED

We can test for PFAS in both solid and aqueous matrices, including potable and non-potable waters, soils, and biota.

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INNOVATIVE

We’re on the leading edge of science, working with EPA, DOD, ASTM, and others to develop new methods for analyzing PFAS.

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