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PFASafe - Next level analysis: unique overall concept for PFAS research

March 10, 2022

PFAS are keeping a lot of people busy. More and more parties want a quick and complete picture of the presence of these forever chemicals in a product, in the soil, in the air and/or in water. SGS has therefore developed a new, unique total concept for PFAS research: PFASafe - Next level analysis.

What are PFAS?

Poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are chemical - man-made - compounds consisting of 4,000 to 6,000 different components. PFAS are persistent, spread rapidly and are not or hardly biodegradable. PFAS are found as diffuse contaminants in food, air, soil, groundwater and surface water.

These chemical compounds have been around since the 1950s and have many beneficial properties. They are added during production processes to a variety of applications. For example, PFAS are found in paints, fire-fighting foams, non-stick pans, packaging materials (pizza boxes and snack packs), cosmetics, floor coverings, furniture fabrics, rainwear, lubricants, adhesives and sprays, etc.

The health risks

Several PFAS are strongly suspected to be toxic, posing health risks to humans, animals and the environment. The exact properties differ for each specific PFAS. PFAS are bioaccumulative. This means that the substances can accumulate in the human body, in animals and in plants. Through food, drinking water, inhalation or the skin, PFAS can enter the human body.

More stringent legislation and regulations

Currently, most PFAS analyses focus on only 1 percent of all 4,000 - 6,000 PFAS compounds. These are the PFAS compounds that Europe has strongly restricted or banned. Well-known examples are PFOA, PFOS and HFPO-DA.

Because of their favorable properties, more and more alternative compounds are being produced and used. However, many of these compounds also fall under the PFAS group. In the coming years even stricter laws and regulations will further limit PFAS-containing applications. It is therefore important to anticipate this now and to ensure that you do not underestimate the presence of PFAS in your analyses and investigations.

Total concept PFAS testing

We were the first laboratory to develop a total concept in the field of PFAS testing: PFASafe - Next level analysis. This new research strategy, which combines various techniques, provides the most complete picture possible in three steps of the presence and absence of PFAS in soil, (drinking) water, ambient air, consumer products and/or food.

Where traditional PFAS analyses focus on about 40 to 60 components (1 percent of the total number of PFAS compounds), with PFASafe - Next level analysis we include all PFAS components. By doing so, we rule out surprises in the future.

How does this work?

  • Step 1: Screening parameter
    We determine whether the sample contains PFAS. If so, we proceed to step 2.
  • Step 2: Target analysis
    We examine the sample for the 40 to 60 best known PFAS compounds. This gives you a first insight into the presence of PFAS in the material under investigation.
  • Step 3: TOP Assay
    We examine whether the sample also contains other PFAS components. This enables us to assess the risk in a more targeted way, so that you can adjust your policy or actions accordingly.

Stricter legislation and regulations

Our analysis goes much further than that and recognizes a much broader group of PFAS components. With PFASafe - Next level analysis you broaden your scope. With this investigation, we rule out surprises and you are ready for the future.

SGS - When you need to be sure

Find out more

Would you like more information about PFAS testing? Please feel free to contact us via mail or by calling +32 3 545 85 84.

Leaflet propositie PFASafe

About SGS

We are SGS – the world’s leading testing, inspection and certification company. We are recognized as the global benchmark for sustainability, quality and integrity. Our 97,000 employees operate a network of 2,650 offices and laboratories, working together to enable a better, safer and more interconnected world.

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