PFAS in Air: Sampling and Analytical Techniques for the Identification of Persistent Contaminants

Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) in the Environment
Oral (pre-recorded) Presentation

Prepared by N. Watson1, H. Calder2, H. Martin2, J. Mayser2
1 - Markes International, 2355 gold meadow way, gold river, ca, 95670, United States
2 - Markes International, Gwaun Elai Mediscience Campus, Llantrisant, RCT, CF728XL, United Kingdom

Contact Information: [email protected]; 866-483-5684


PFOA and PFOS are fluorinated organic chemicals that are part of a larger group of chemicals referred to as perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs). PFAS compounds are heat and stain resistant and have been in used globally since the 1940s when discovery of their unique properties made them ideal for a wide range of applications. They have been used to make carpets, clothing, fabrics for furniture, paper packaging for food, non-stick cookware and other consumer products that we are all familiar with. They are also still used widely for firefighting in the form of Aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) at airfields and in a number of industrial processes.
PFOA and PFOS were the most extensively produced and subsequently the most studied of these chemicals. The rapidly evolving regulatory landscape, especially in drinking water and waste water, has been driving the research into this topic. In addition to the concerns of water contamination, it’s feared that PFAS are also adversely effecting air quality.
PFOA, PFOS and other PFAS compounds have begun to be phased out by industry and were replaced by shorter chain (>C8) PFAS compounds with limited information known on the implications for the environment and health.
As part of the phasing out process products containing PFAS are being incinerated to ensure they do not contribute further to the environmental build up. A process which then requires monitoring in accordance with the Clean Air Act using traditional air quality instrumentation.
This poster will highlight the use of innovative sampling and analytical processes based on pre-concentration using thermal desorption coupled with GC-MS and how it is used to further research and comply with regulation.