New PFAS Testing Method Announced

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) recently announced a new method for testing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water. The new validated test method complements other actions the USEPA is taking under the PFAS Action Plan to help communities address PFAS nationwide. PFAS are a large group of man-made chemicals used in consumer products and industrial processes. PFAS are resistant to heat, oils, stains, grease, and water – properties which contribute to their persistence in the environment.

 “We can now measure 29 chemicals, marking a critical step in implementing the agency’s PFAS Action Plan—the most comprehensive cross-agency plan ever to address an emerging chemical of concern,” says Andrew Wheeler, USEPA Administrator.

USEPA’s new validated Method 533 focuses on “short chain” PFAS, those with carbon chain lengths of four to 12. Method 533 complements USEPA’s Method 537.1 and can be used to test for 11 additional PFAS. Method 533 accomplishes a key milestone by meeting the commitment to develop new validated methods to accurately test for additional PFAS in drinking water. Method 533 also incorporates an analytical technique called isotope dilution, which is intended to minimize sample matrix interference and improve data quality. 

The USEPA’s PFAS Action Plan can be accessed here.