PFAS (per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances), also called highly fluorinated substances, have become a problem in the environment around the world. It is most often PFOS that is analyzed and found in, among other things, drinking water and groundwater, contaminated soil, fish and humans. But there are several thousand other PFASs and it is therefore likely that there are more PFASs in environmental samples. Measuring EOF (extractable organic fluorine) is a way of measuring the sum of fluorinated substances in samples without knowing exactly which ones they are.
As EOF is a relatively new analytical method, this study has been done to investigate the reliability of the method. The same samples have been analyzed by three different laboratories to see how much the results vary with respect to EOF. In comparison, 16 known PFASs were also analyzed in these samples by all laboratories.
The results show a sufficiently high reliability to be able to say that there are many more PFASs in most samples than those normally analyzed.
The analyzes and report have been produced by Örebro University (Anna Kärrman, Leo Yeung, Fabian Brännström and Carl Lemon), Stockholm University (Jonathan Benskin, Kyra Spaan, Merle Plassmann and Cynthia de Wit) and IVL Swedish Environmental Institute (Raed Awad, Minh Anh Nguyen and Robin Vestergren) in collaboration with DVGW-Technologiecentrum Wasser (Frank Thomas Lange and Marco Scheurer) in Germany.
The report has been funded by the Swedish Chemicals Agency. Project manager at the Swedish Chemicals Agency has been Bert-Ove Lund, with the support of Jenny Ivarsson, Daniel Borg and Kerem Yazar.