As concerns about Americans’ exposure to a certain group of chemical substances continues to grow, Battelle researchers have added another tool in their suite to help assess and understand occurrence.
Known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), PFAS are chemicals that have been used for decades in products that repel stains, water, grease, and oil and in firefighting foams. Some studies have identified certain PFAS as potentially threatening to health. Because they have relatively high solubility in water, these persistent chemicals are mobile, and where used, have dispersed throughout our environment and into our bodies. The country now faces many challenges associated with PFAS.
In past such circumstances, when widespread identification and remediation were necessary to restore environments to an acceptable level, passive samplers have been valued by the scientific community to understand the potential for exposure to humans and other biological species. Unfortunately, traditional passive samplers do not work for PFAS due to their adsorption characteristics. Thus there is a need for a new product, the Battelle PFAS Insight™ passive sampler technology.
Early results indicate it has a fast uptake of PFAS chemicals and fits various application scenarios, including groundwater monitoring wells and surface water. “The differences in the chemical properties of different PFAS compounds is what made the development of a suitable passive sampler so challenging,” said Eliza Kaltenberg, a Battelle research scientist. “It took many rounds of testing before we decided that we have a product that performs well with a wide range of PFAS analytes that is ready for field testing.”
Prototype samplers for groundwater and surface water were deployed in a field test this summer.
Every day, the people of Battelle apply science and technology to solving what matters most. At major technology centers and national laboratories around the world, Battelle conducts research and development, designs and manufactures products, and delivers critical services for government and commercial customers. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio since its founding in 1929, Battelle serves the national security, health and life sciences, and energy and environmental industries. For more information, visit www.battelle.org/PFAS.