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 are not always listed clearly. Pace® can test impacted media (soil, wastewater, etc.) and legacy AFFF for PFAS and PFAS precursors.
PFAS is often an ingredient in plastics used for packaging, plastics and 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.
PFAS accumulate in plant and animal tissues just as they do in humans. When people consume foods containing PFAS, it can elevate PFAS levels in their bloodstream. PFAS has been found in agricultural products such as milk and eggs as well as wild caught fish and deer. 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.
USEPA provides two validated test methods for drinking water compliance: Method 537.1 and Method 533. Together, these methods can test for all 29 PFAS compounds required under UCMR 5. Either method can be used to analyze for the six PFAS compounds addressed by the proposed National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (NPDWR).
Sampling required under the U.S. EPA’s Fifth Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR 5) began in January of 2023, and Pace® has been busy helping customers create sampling strategies and allocate budgets. To learn more about UCMR 5, visit our UCMR 5 page and subscribe to receive updates.
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 stormwater runoff 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.
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 often do not have leachate collection systems. But municipal landfill can create issues too when contaminated leachate is sent to the local wastewater treatment plant.
Soil and sediment can become contaminated with PFAS through a variety of mediums, such as landfill leachate, wastewater discharge, biosolids, and stormwater runoff. Pace® offers methods for testing soil and sediment for targeted PFAS, non-targeted PFAS, and total organic fluorine. We can also test unique solids, such as incinerator ash for products of incomplete combustion (PICs) that can spread PFAS to surrounding neighborhoods.
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 Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems (NPDES) permitting. Per the agency’s latest guidance, the use of Draft Method 1633 is strongly encouraged with Draft Method 1621 recommended as a supplemental method for analyzing Total Organic Fluorine (TOF). TOP Assay may also be used to analyze for PFAS precursors.
According to the EPA, roughly 60% of wastewater sludge is land-applied to agriculture. Since traditional wastewater treatment processes do not 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.
We’re certified/accredited by NELAC, ISO, DOD, DOE, and in every state with a PFAS lab certification program.
For emergencies, our Rapid Response Team can provide defensible results in as little as 24 hours.
We are committed to helping our customers advance their important work through building strong relationships, delivering upon expectations, and providing exceptional customer service.
We can test for PFAS in both solid and aqueous matrices, including potable and non-potable waters, soils, and biota.
We’re on the leading edge of science, working with EPA, DOD, ASTM, and others to develop new methods for analyzing PFAS.