Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)
Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)—also known as Perfluorinated Compounds (PFCs)—are a diverse group of manufactured compounds frequently used as surfactants in industrial, consumer, military, and firefighting applications across the United States, such as Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) firefighting products, textiles, carpeting, metal plating, paper food packaging, cleaning products, coating additives, and pesticides.
Health Concerns Related to PFAS
PFAS compounds exhibit distinctive chemical characteristics that make them stable in the environment and resistant to degradation, allowing them to bioaccumulate in soil, sediment, groundwater, and animal tissue over time. Two types of PFAS are particularly persistent: Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). PFOS and PFOA are fully fluorinated organic compounds which happen to be the most commonly produced PFAS in the U.S.
Regulatory Action Underway
PFAS has made State and National news due to its pervasiveness and adverse effects on the environment and public health. For this reason, both the U.S. EPA and California State Water Resources Control Board (State Board) have announced PFAS action plans. The State Board's Division of Drinking Water (DDW) has announced its phased investigation approach to PFAS and issued order letters to drinking water and landfill agencies, as well as airports. Further, California recently passed legislation requiring those public water systems to report confirmed detections in their annual consumer confidence report and take immediate action should the contaminants exceed set response levels. Moreover, the State Board will soon require non-potable sources to be tested by Department of Defense (DoD) accredited laboratories.
Below is an index of EPA Method 537.1 analytes, their respective acronyms, and their corresponding Chemical Abstract Services Registry Number.
PFAS Testing Expertise
EPA Method 537, EPA Method 537.1, and other Methods Required for Non-Potable Sources
Babcock Laboratories’ vast scope of testing services includes the analysis of PFAS. We are CA ELAP accredited to perform testing for all 18 target analytes for EPA Method 537.1, as well as the 14 compounds identified in EPA Method 537 Rev 1.1. Babcock Labs also has experience using other methods appropriate to non-potable matrices, such as landfill leachates, condensates, and groundwater.
To meet your specific testing needs, we are able to test for additional compounds not listed in EPA Method 537.1.
Our clients include the U.S. EPA, public water systems, and engineering firms. Due to the diversity of our clients, we have experience providing a wide variety of electronic and hardcopy data deliverables, as well as sampling services. Learn about PFAS sampling services performed by our in-house team of qualified field technicians.
Babcock Labs stays abreast of the rapidly changing PFAS landscape and continuously reinvests in staff, instrumentation, and our state-of-the art facilities to ensure that we offer our clients reliable lab capacity and the best data quality available.
Drinking Water Agencies
Updates from the State Board concerning drinking water agencies:
EPA Approved Lab
Since the inception of the EPA’s UCMR program, Babcock Laboratories has consistently received EPA laboratory approval for each round (1, 2, and 3), including the most recent round, UCMR 4. We have over 15 years of experience analyzing contaminants of emerging concern—including PFAS—under contract with the EPA and for large water systems.
Landfills & Airports
Updates from the State Board concerning landfills and airports:
Babcock Laboratories is recognized as a leader in the industry, and that recognition includes over 12 years of LC/MS/MS analyses expertise, the leading technology for determination of PFAS. We have received industry commendation for our innovative and extensive LC/MS/MS research and method development. Our current capability allows us to detect PFAS at low nanogram-per-liter levels in water.
Over 100 Years of Excellence
For over 110 years, Babcock Labs has demonstrated a commitment to data integrity and high ethical standards. In addition to the rigorous Quality Control procedures conducted as part of the testing process, data integrity at Babcock Labs also involves a review of the pertinent regulatory limits and client historical data for early identification of data anomalies.