Progress On the Use of Accurate Mass qTOF for PFAS Investigations

Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) in the Environment (Session 2)
Oral Presentation

Prepared by C. Neslund
Eurofins Lancaster Laboratories Environmental, 2425 New Holland Pike, Lancaster, PA, 17601, United States

Contact Information: [email protected]; 717-556-7231


As the analysis and investigation of sites contaminated with PFAS continues to mature there is a growing interest in determining the contributions of different sources, to the overall contamination. Treatment technologies are also maturing in application and complexity of remedy options. The complexity and magnitude of the treatment can significantly impact costs for said treatment. Therefore, the development of analytical methodologies that can at least, start to delineate sources/contributions, assign responsibility and can also be used to identify treatment products can be a useful tool in environmental investigations.

If we apply the results of accurate mass qTOF, applied to targets, known/unknowns and unknown/unknowns, we are progressing towards a robust forensic application. The use of a non-target analysis (NTA) approach has benefits beyond the "forensics" approach referred to. In addition to the limited libraries that have been obtained, we will show how we have assembled libraries from known sources (AFFF and other products) that can be used like a fingerprint, to borrow terminology from our petroleum hydrocarbon colleagues. We will use some actual field examples to demonstrate the power of the technique when applied to PFAS investigations and how it compliments targeted MS/MS data.