Our Experience

Per-(Poly) Fluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)

GEL has developed EPA Methods 537 and 537 modified to support PFAS analysis across the United States. 

The Client

GEL supports a wide range of clients including state regulatory agencies, local municipalities, consulting firms, DoD and DOE sites and individuals throughout the United States.

The Challenge

PFAS have many manufacturing and industrial applications because they impart useful properties, including fire resistance, and oil, stain, grease and water repellency. These chemicals are used in a wide range of industrial applications and the manufacture of consumer goods, and may be found in cleaners, textiles, leather, paper and paints, fire-fighting foams, and wire insulation.  The use of these compounds has brought them to the public forefront as an emerging contaminant.  GEL was tasked with conducting research and development on existing methodologies to identify unknown PFAS in drinking water, surface water, groundwater and solids for those effected by the Cape Fear River contamination in eastern North Carolina.

GEL Labs Services Provided

GEL expanded our current capabilities and added both EPA Methods 537 and 537 modified.  GEL offers analysis of PFAS by EPA Method 537 (1999) for drinking water and offer Method 537 modified for liquid, solid, and Aqueous Film Forming Foams (AFFF) samples using LC/MS/MS technology to detect and differentiate the compounds.  GEL holds DoD ELAP ISO17025:2005 accreditation for these methods, the modified method being fully compliant with QSM 5.1 Table B-15. GEL is NELAP certified for drinking water, non-potable water, and liquid and solid wastes (including soils) using these methods.  

In addition, GEL expanded our current EPA Methods 537 and 537 modified for both water and soils to specifically identify the commercial product known as GenX, a PFAS compound.  After bringing this compound online, 6 other compounds were identified as contaminants of concern.  Without any readily available standards for these 6 contaminants, GEL worked hand in hand with the EPA research lab in RTP to derive methodology enhancements which meet required quality assurance/quality control criteria based on the GenX concentrations. Coordination with multiple agencies confirmed and validated GEL’s R&D efforts to provide this previously unavailable commercial capability.

The Result

GEL Laboratories has been successful in analyzing many different matrices for PFAS.  This has allowed further development of treatment systems to be utilized to clean up spill areas and residents to receive safer drinking water in Southeastern NC.  Many of these projects are still ongoing and will continue into the foreseeable future.

For more information please contact Ashley Nifong at (910) 520-2035.

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