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PFAS Sampling Practices

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The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's Bureau of Safe Drinking Water has published a detailed guidance document for the collection of samples being analyzed for PFAS in drinking water systems.

PFAS Sampling Information For Water Systems Performing Sample Collection

PFAS contamination is plaguing locations around the country: affecting drinking water, soils, sediments and consumer products. When you need to test for PFAS for your business or home, you want to ensure that you hire professionals to get you the best samples — so that you can get dependable results to serve your needs.

Eurofins Environment Testing has been refining our analytical methods and capabilities for PFAS for nearly two decades. We have the most experienced teams in the industry, so that your samples are attended to and cataloged from start to finish.

Sampling is the first key part of the analytical process, and must be completed without interference or error. Inexperienced samplers may not be aware of the simple, unimposing products and practices that can negatively affect your samples. Eurofins field technicians follow stringent sampling protocols and have been thoroughly trained in order to minimize the risk of cross-contamination. You can expect the following precautions are taken by all Eurofins employees in contact with your samples.

Collecting Samples

Detection levels are in the parts per trillion, and as such, extraordinary measures must be taken in the collection of samples to guard against false positives due to contamination during sampling. Eurofins QC is committed to providing the highest standard of sampling professionalism. Among the many requirements are: donning a full non-PFC treated suit; no use of fluorinated hygiene products the day of sampling; and no packaged food handling or consumption on the day of sampling. There are many more, but the point is that we take this seriously!

PPE Stop
Leave sampling for PFAS to the equipped professionals — Eurofins!

Sampling can also be challenging due to the widespread use of PFAS in plastic products, textiles and chemicals, and many of these materials are used in field and laboratory operations. For example, products such as plastic tubing, sample containers and sampling equipment that are made of polytetrafluoroethylene are often found in a sampler’s kit. Since they may contain these problematic compounds, these items should not be used in sampling for PFAS. Eurofins utilizes sample collection bottles made of high-density polyethylene plastic (HDPE) and lids that are free of Teflon™ lining. If you choose to collect your own samples, Eurofins can also supply bottles for you.

What To Avoid

Prior to sampling we do not handle packaged food or drinks, aluminum foil, or adhesive labels as many of these products are treated with chemicals that include PFAS. When sampling, avoid using clothing or footwear that is brand new, treated with fabric softener, waterproof, water-repellent, fire-repellent or stain resistant. It is strongly recommended that proper laboratory field sampling and hygiene protocols are followed to ensure that testing results reflect actual PFAS levels in the analyzed samples.

Here are some surprising hiding places for PFAS in products:

  • Chemical ice bags
  • Sticky notes
  • Waterproof field books
  • Equipment using non-stick material
  • Waterproof suits, waterproof boots
  • Sunscreens, insect repellents
  • Felt-tip pens
  • Aluminum foil
  • New clothing
  • Personal hygiene products
  • Clothing laundered with fabric softener

You can also review our highly-detailed PFAS sampling protocol at the link here.

Don’t let these challenges impede you from getting the samples you need. Partnering with a Eurofins laboratory ensures that you receive the top sampling and testing experience. See more information about our PFAS-capable labs below.

Eurofins QC

Eurofins QC is able to provide trusted, efficient sampling and courier services. With a committed staff of field technicians fully trained in sampling PFAS and 1,4-Dioxane protocol, Eurofins QC can meet your environmental sampling needs. Sampling protocols are designed to minimize the chance of a false positive, even under the most stringent regulatory requirements.

With a dedicated fleet of vehicles, your samples get to the laboratory without you having to worry about the hassle of shipping them yourself.

Eurofins Lancaster Laboratories Environmental

Eurofins Lancaster Laboratories Environmental is leading the industry in the analysis of PFAS and 1,4-dioxane. Our 100,000 square foot laboratory has the capacity and capabilities to analyze the full spectrum of environmental matrices including soil, wastewater, drinking water, sediment, tissue and air.

With a staff of more than 300 and more than 50 years of experience, Eurofins Lancaster Laboratories Environmental provides the full range of environmental testing as well as specialty testing. Eurofins should be your laboratory of choice for your next analytical project.

  • The ability to test for 36 PFAS compounds including PFOA, PFOS and PFBS in a wide range of matrices.
  • Top-of-the-line, PFAS-dedicated instruments with unmatched capacity and a standard 10-day turn-around time.
  • Gold-standard testing protocols including isotope dilution and EPA 537 v 1.1 for drinking water analysis.
  • Dedicated sample preparation and clean-up space minimizing sources of contamination.
  • Analytical sensitivity at or below current regulatory and advisory limits.
  • State-specific accreditation, ISO 17025 and DOD QSM.

Eurofins Eaton Analytical

Eurofins Eaton Analytical is the largest drinking water testing laboratory in the U.S., holds ELAP certification for EPA 537 Rev 1.1 and maintains the largest PFAS related capacity of any water testing laboratory in the U.S. As the center of excellence for drinking water testing, Eurofins Eaton Analytical assisted EPA with the validation of the new EPA 537.1 method for PFAS in water and is currently awaiting ELAP accreditation for EPA 537.1

Eurofins Eaton Analytical analyzed over 10,000 samples from approximately 1,800 public water system customers during the 2013-2015 UCMR3 monitoring period and since then continues to analyze even more comprehensive PFAS lists for hundreds of clients across the nation. We are able to provide you trusted and accurate data to demonstrate compliance with new, regional notification levels.

Eurofins TestAmerica

Eurofins TestAmerica offers the nation's largest LCMSMS capacity dedicated to PFAS testing, with over 30 PFAS related compounds at detection limits well below state and federal screening levels. Our laboratories support methods 537, ISO25101, 537M and PFAS by QSM 5.1 Table B15, with all the necessary validation data to support the precision and accuracy of our methodology.

Eurofins TestAmerica has successfully modified Method 537 for use on more complex matrices, such as groundwater, soil, tissue, and sediment, and has incorporated replacement chemicals such as GenX, ADONA and F-53B into this analysis. We also support specialty testing such as PFAS in source air emissions and the production of TOP (Total Oxidizable Precursors) Assay data.