Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), pronounced as p-fahs, are a group of man-made chemicals used across the globe that includes PFOA, PFOS, GenX, and many other chemicals. PFAS are (or have been) found in dozens of industrial applications and consumer products such as carpeting, upholstery, cookware, food packaging, and stain repellants.
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 – meaning they don’t break down and they can accumulate over time. Consequently, PFAS is relatively ubiquitous in the environment at varying levels.
The presence of PFAS has been found in surface water, finished drinking water, wastewater, groundwater, soil, and air emissions.
There is evidence that exposure to PFAS can lead to adverse health outcomes in humans. There are various ways that people can be exposed to these chemicals and at different levels of exposure, typically via ingestion and/or inhalation.
To address the growing concerns with these emerging contaminants, the United States EPA announced the PFAS Action Plan in February 2020. The plan outlines the tools EPA is developing to, among other things, address PFAS in wastewater and drinking water, identify and clean up PFAS contamination, expand monitoring of PFAS in manufacturing, increase PFAS scientific research, and exercise effective enforcement tools.
Sampling and testing for PFAS is challenging work, which is why there are not many labs taking on this task. Aquatic Laboratories has diligently worked to position ourselves to meet the PFAS testing needs of our clients in drinking water, wastewater, stormwater, groundwater, and surface water analysis.
Aquatic Laboratories is a nationally recognized TNI/NELAC certified lab, and the only private sector lab in Kentucky that is TNI/NELAC certified for PFAS.