New York’s first PFAS Laboratory

In 2017, York Analytical Laboratories, Inc (York) began managing PFAS sample analysis for clients working in New York State. York has been involved in a number of soil investigations for PFAS determinations (including a 150-sample project at one of the NYC-area airports) and is experienced in the sample handling and analysis procedures for potable and non-potable aqueous matrices for the determination of trace levels of PFAS.

In October 2018, York opened the first and only PFAS laboratory in New York City. The new Emerging Contaminants laboratory was built in York’s existing Queens, NY facility, which was certified by the NYS DOH and approved in January 2019.

Emerging Contaminant Testing Methods Offered

York has developed methods and procedures to address the following methods:

  • EPA 537.1, initial 14 compounds list plus updated Nov. 2018 version with ADONA and GenX
  • EPA 537.1 modified to address up to 30 PFAS species, including isotope dilution
  • ISO 25101:2009 (E)-limited list of PFAS targets
  • ASTM D7979-16
  • Custom methods developed in-house for special applications, including ADONA and GenX and other emerging PFAS.

PFAS Testing Instrumentation

York has invested in the latest preparation and analysis systems for PFAS testing.

Sample Preparation

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Closeup of a person completing a PFAS testing while holding a test tube with pink liquid inside of it
  • Sample preparations for aqueous samples are performed using automated solid-phase extraction (SPE) techniques utilizing both polystyrene divinylbenzene (SDVB) media for EPA 537.1 or Weak Anion Exchange (WAX) SPE cartridges for expanded target PFAS lists.  York employs Horizon Technologies/Biotage Smart Prep II automated SPE systems for aqueous extractions.  This system was designed to be PFAS free to minimize background.
  • Extract Concentration- Extracts are concentrated to dryness or small volumes (depending upon the methods) using an N-EVAP nitrogen system-Organomation Model 112.  This system allows for up to 24 extracts to be automatically evaporated each with its own nitrogen flow control to minimize evaporative losses.  All nitrogen delivery components are non-PTFE to again minimize PFAS background.

Sample Analysis

The analysis systems employed by York represent the latest available technology for the analysis of PFAS and related molecules.  The systems are comprised of High-Pressure Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) interfaced to Agilent Triple Quadrupole (QQQ) MS/MS system.

The HPLC system is an Agilent Model 1260 Infinity II system retrofit with non-PTFE components to minimize PFAS background contribution.  The HPLC system is interfaced using the Agilent Jet Stream Electrospray interface (AJS-ESI) to an Agilent Model 6470AAR Triple Quadrupole (QQQ) MS/MS system using Mass Hunter B.09 software.

This system yields reporting limits (verified LOQ) of approximately 2.0 ng/L for aqueous samples and 1.0 ug/kg for soils.

Future Considerations

As regulations unfold and possibly driven to lower levels, York is positioned to meet these needs.  The system employed by York allows for a field upgrade to retrofit the 6470AAR to achieve 5-7 times more sensitivity than the current systems report.  This option is important to staying ahead of the dynamic applications for PFAS.