PFAS: Dispelling the Myths and Producing Defensible Data

A Joint Presentation of QED Environmental Systems and TestAmerica

About this webinar:
Many sites have been required to add the analysis of Per-and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) to their ground water sampling plans. Military bases, airports, landfills and manufacturing facilities are sites where PFAS contamination may be present due to the use of PFAS in activities such as fire suppression or plastic manufacturing. Collecting samples for PFAS is very different from sampling for fuels, solvents, and other chemical contaminants, as potential sources of PFAS are nearly everywhere – in waterproof clothing and field gear, insect repellent, sunblock, and even field notebooks. But, is there really a risk from all of these sources? Do we need to eliminate all of these items to avoid sample contamination? And what about the fluoropolymers like Teflon that have been used in sampling equipment for more than three decades? Can we use these systems to collect samples for PFAS analysis or do we need new equipment that doesn’t have fluoropolymers?

Currently there are no EPA approved methods for PFAS analysis of matrices other than finished drinking water. For all other matrices, a 537 modified method, using isotope dilution, is commonly used and is widely accepted as the gold standard in quantitation for challenging contaminants such as these.  As there remains some variation across the environmental laboratory community in the deployment of this modified analysis, a great deal of attention should be paid to the details of the methodology employed and the quality assurance protocols applied by the supporting laboratory.

In this webinar, David Kaminski with QED Environmental Systems will delve into the sources of PFAS sample contamination and dispel some of the myths and speculation surrounding the issue. Taryn McKnight with TestAmerica Laboratories will illuminate the multitude of parameters and best practices to confirm with your laboratory when 537 Modified is being applied.

Presentation topics will include:
• Sampling system materials – what works, what doesn’t?
• Avoiding obvious sources of contamination
• Proper sample containers for PFAS
• Sample preservation and holding time considerations
• The use of isotope dilution – what does this mean?
• Quality control measures and the impact on data quality
• The role of proficiency testing and accreditation in data defensibility

The presentation will be followed by a 15-minute Q&A session to answer your questions about groundwater sampling, sample analysis and data management.