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Testing for PFAS

14 July 2023 Posted by: makeyourmark Uncategorized

PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are long-lasting man-made chemicals found in many of our household products. Testing has shown that most people in the United States have measurable amounts of PFAS in their bodies. The concern surrounding PFAS arises from their persistence in the environment and potential adverse health effects. PFAS do not break down easily and can accumulate in the environment, including water, soil, and even in the bodies of animals and humans. Some studies have suggested that long-term exposure to PFAS may be linked to various health issues, including liver damage, immune system disorders, hormonal disruptions, and an increased risk of certain cancers.

How do I test for PFAS?

Testing for PFAS can be a complex process that typically requires specialized laboratory analysis. Here are some options:

  • Water testing: If you are concerned about PFAS in your drinking water, you can send a water sample to a laboratory for analysis. Look for certified laboratories that specifically offer PFAS testing. They will typically provide sampling instructions and the necessary sampling containers. The laboratory will analyze the sample using techniques such as liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) to detect and quantify PFAS compounds.
  • Soil and sediment testing: If you suspect PFAS contamination in soil or sediment, you can collect samples and send them to a laboratory for analysis. Again, make sure to choose a certified laboratory that offers PFAS testing. The laboratory will utilize analytical methods to detect and quantify PFAS in the samples.
  • Blood testing: Blood testing is typically conducted on an individual basis and requires medical professionals. It is usually done to assess PFAS exposure levels in individuals who may have been directly exposed to high levels of PFAS due to specific circumstances, such as occupational exposure or proximity to PFAS-contaminated sites. Consult with a healthcare provider or occupational health specialist to discuss the need and availability of blood testing for PFAS.

Remember that PFAS testing may involve significant costs, especially if you choose to send samples to a certified laboratory. Additionally, interpreting the results may require expert knowledge, so consulting with professionals familiar with PFAS analysis and exposure assessment can be helpful.

How do I test for PFAS at home?

Unfortunately, at-home PFAS testing is not readily available for the majority of people. Testing kits costs can rise to above $300, and should only be sourced from EPA-certified laboratories. There are a few testing kits for both yourself and your tap water. Currently, empowerDX offers an at-home test to detect PFAS in your blood. All it takes is a prick to the finger to collect the sample before shipping it to a laboratory for testing. Cyclopure is also offering an at-home water test kit to measure the presence of PFAS in tap water. To find more testing kits, consider these tips:

  • Search for certified laboratories: Look for certified laboratories that offer PFAS testing services. These laboratories have the expertise and equipment necessary to analyze samples for the presence and concentration of PFAS compounds. Check if they provide testing for specific sample types, such as water, soil, or blood.
  • Contact environmental testing companies: Reach out to environmental testing companies or consult with environmental consultants who specialize in PFAS analysis. They can guide you on available testing services, the sampling process, and the cost involved.
  • Check with local health or environmental agencies: Contact your local health department or environmental agencies to inquire about PFAS testing options in your area. They may be able to provide information on certified laboratories or testing programs available in your region.

Stay updated on advancements: Keep an eye on the latest developments in the field of PFAS testing. As awareness and concern about PFAS grow, there may be new testing technologies or kits introduced to the market. Stay informed through scientific publications, environmental news sources, or by consulting with experts in the field.