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PFAS and Forever Chemicals in Water: Testing and Filtration

14 July 2023 Posted by: makeyourmark Uncategorized

How do I test for PFAS and forever chemicals in water?

To test for PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) forever chemicals in water, you will typically need to collect a water sample and send it to a certified laboratory for analysis. See this article for at-home testing kit providers. 

These are the general steps involved in testing for PFAS levels in water:

  1. Find a certified laboratory. Look for a laboratory that offers PFAS testing services and is accredited for analyzing PFAS compounds in water samples. Certifications such as ISO/IEC 17025 are good indicators of a laboratory’s competence in conducting accurate and reliable testing.
  2. Obtain a sampling kit. Contact the laboratory to inquire about their sampling requirements and procedures. They may provide a sampling kit with specific instructions on how to collect and preserve the water sample properly. The kit may include sample containers, preservatives, and instructions for shipping the sample to the laboratory.
  3. Collect your sample. Carefully follow the provided instructions to collect the water sample. Typically, this involves using clean, uncontaminated containers to collect the sample from the water source of concern. It’s crucial to avoid cross-contamination and maintain proper hygiene during the sampling process.
  4. Preserve the sample. If the laboratory has provided preservatives or specific storage instructions, make sure to follow them accurately. Preservatives can help stabilize the sample and prevent degradation of PFAS compounds during transit.
  5. Ship the sample. Once the sample is collected and properly preserved, package it according to the instructions provided by the laboratory. This may involve using specific packaging materials and labels. Ship the sample to the laboratory as soon as possible to ensure timely analysis.
  6. Receive and interpret the results. The laboratory will conduct the analysis of the water sample using specialized techniques such as liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) to detect and quantify PFAS compounds. Once the analysis is complete, the laboratory will provide you with a report detailing the presence and concentrations of different PFAS compounds in the water sample. You can consult with the laboratory or relevant experts to interpret the results and understand their implications. 

Please be advised that PFAS testing may involve high costs, so inquire about the fees and turnaround time when contacting the laboratory. Also, discussing the results with professionals familiar with PFAS analysis and exposure assessment can provide further insights and guidance based on your specific situation

Which water filters can remove PFAS forever chemicals?

There are certain types of water filters that can effectively remove PFAS chemicals from your drinking water. The most common types are: activated carbon filters and reverse osmosis filters. Activated carbon filters, such as granular activated carbon (GAC) and activated carbon block (ACB) filters, work by adsorbing PFAS onto the carbon surface as water passes through the filter. Not all activated carbon filters are equally effective in removing PFAS, so look for filters specifically certified or tested for PFAS removal. Reverse osmosis (RO) filters use a semipermeable membrane to remove impurities from water, including PFAS compounds, by applying pressure to force water through the membrane while leaving contaminants behind. RO systems typically consist of multiple stages of filtration and may include pre-filters, a membrane, and post-filters. See this article for specific product recommendations.