Validation of Automated SPE EPA Methods 537.1 and 533 for PFAS Analyses

Drinking Water
Oral Presentation

Prepared by Y. Li, J. Whitaker
Eurofins Eaton Analytical, LLC, 110 South Hill Street, South Bend, Indiana, 46617, United States

Contact Information: [email protected]; 574-472-5562


Human exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) has become a worldwide public health issue. Reports have estimated over 3,000 PFAS on the global market, used in a wide variety of industrial and consumer applications. In addition, the industry has been introducing shorter chain PFAS as an alternative to the legacy long-chain PFAS. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established the drinking water lifetime health advisories (HA) of 70 ng/L for PFOA, PFOS or the sum of these two PFAS (2016). The national contaminant occurrence database (NCOD) indicated that 1.5% of the samples exceeded the HA and PFAS were detected in 3.3% of the samples and 36 states/territories, during the third Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR3). Notable state actions may include New Jersey‘s maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 13 ng/L for PFNA (September, 2018), California’s notification levels for PFOS at 6.5 ng/L and for PFOA at 5.1 ng/L (August, 2019), New York’s recommended MCLs of 10 ng/L for PFOA and PFOS individually (December, 2018), New Hampshire’s proposed MCLs for four PFAS (July, 2019), Michigan’s human health-based values for seven PFAS (June, 2019), etc. In addition, PFAS are also included in the proposed fifth Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR5).

The recently pusblished EPA Methods 537.1 and 533 can be used to analyze 29 PFAS in drinking water. The initial demonstration of these methods was based on the manual solid-phase extraction (SPE) techniques. In this presentation, we will demonstrate the use of automated SPE techniques for Methods 537.1 and 533. The main purposes of using automated SPE are to improve the data quality, throughput, turn-around time, a cost-effectiveness. This presentation will provide the following contents to the attendees: 1) demonstration of capability, 2) discussion of challenges and solutions, and 3) a useful guidance in developing high throughput and cost-effective analytical procedures for PFAS.