Researchers at the National Institute of Standards & Technology are creating reference materials and data resources to address the per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) measurement needs of academic, industrial, and governmental laboratories.
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) belong to a class of chemical compounds that includes a fully or partially-fluorinated carbon chain, that gives the compounds unique properties for a variety of commercial and industrial applications. PFAS have been recognized as emerging environmental contaminants and are deemed persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic to humans and wildlife [https://www.epa.gov/pfas]. Due to their unique structure and properties, PFAS can be difficult to measure confidently; in addition, there are a wide range of chemical structures of PFAS and limited availability of chemical standards for these measurements. For these reasons, researchers at NIST have been developing reference materials and data resources that can be used to increase confidence in PFAS measurements, including the targeted, quantitative measurement and the nontargeted, qualitative identification of PFAS in human and environmental matrices.
Currently, NIST provides nine difference reference materials that have measured amounts of PFAS, for the list visit NIST SRM Website. Additional reference materials for unique matrices, like drinking water and technical solutions, are in development.
To create reference materials and data for the quality assurance of PFAS measurements; including quantitative and qualitative measurements.
Currently, registration is open for an interlaboratory study to evaluate the measurements of targeted PFAS in AFFF formulations; registration is closing December 31, 2019. See https://qa.nist.gov/csd_ils for more information.
In addition to reference material and data resource development, NIST has opportunities for recent graduate students to perform novel research related to PFAS through the National Research Council Research Associateship Program. NRC research opportunities include:
For more information, please contact pfas [at] nist.gov.