After undergoing the validation/verification process, which commenced in late 2017, our Envirolab Services laboratory in Sydney has extended its NATA Accreditation to PFAS in biota. This extension widens our range of accredited competencies, including NATA Accreditation for PFAS in Blood and Serum.
What are PFAS?
Perfluorinated and Polyfluorinated Alkylated Substances or “PFAS” are a group of synthetic compounds that have been produced commercially since the 1950s and have been identified in recent years as contaminants of concern due to their toxicity, persistent nature and mobility in the environment.
The manufacture and use of some PFAS, including Perfluorooctane Sulphonate (PFOS) has been banned in many countries. While these chemicals may no longer be produced, PFAS and related compounds may still be found in imported products or as part of old stock still in use. Some products that PFAS was previously used in include non-stick cookware, food packaging, fabric, waxes, furniture and some carpet stain protection applications. In addition to consumer products, PFAS were also extensively used in some industrial processes, including certain types of fire-fighting foams, which has resulted in the contamination of soil and groundwater in sites and locations surrounding fire stations, defence bases and airports around Australia. Katherine in the Northern Territory is notably one of several PFAS-affected sites around the country.
Increasing Concern of PFAS in Biota (Plants and Animals)
There is worldwide concern about PFAS due to their environmental persistence, in that they resist degradation or they don’t break down and they can accumulate over time. PFAS may also bioaccumulate in living organisms - meaning they are absorbed by plants and animals, and can enter the human food chain.
Particularly as the concentration of these compounds may increase over time in the blood and organs, testing and monitoring PFAS in biota has become a major concern for environmental monitoring organisations, health agencies and governments.
Sampling Biota for testing at Envirolab Services
Comprehensive validation was undertaken in a dozen unique biota matrices to cover fish and seafood; animal products (including meat and dairy products); fruit and vegetables. Various high end analytical techniques are utilised to minimise matrix effects associated with the analysis of biota.
While all samples should be accompanied by a corresponding the Chain of Custody (COC), there is complexity of certain biota. For example, there might be circumstances where foliage analysis requires the inclusion of dust and / or soil particles. Perhaps the leaves themselves may only be relevant for your investigation?
Based on the unique requirements of your project, our team at Envirolab Services is keen to listen and assist you with all aspects of sampling and subsampling for PFAS analysis. With our dedicated team, Simon Mills, Phalak Inthakesone and Ashley Miller are ready to answer questions and assist with your testing requirements.
With locations around Australia, an expert team and rapid turnarounds, contact us today for more information.