Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) are man made fluorinated chemicals that are part of a larger group of emerging chemicals of concern referred to as per- and poly fluoroalkyl substances (PFASs). These synthetic compounds persist and have been found at low levels in the environment and in humans. Toxicity studies have indicated that PFOA and PFOS can cause developmental and other adverse effects in laboratory animals.

Under a PFOA Stewardship Program with the USEPA, eight manufacturers eliminated PFOA from emissions and products in 2015.PFASs are not currently regulated. On July 13, 2018, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) issued a drinking water notification level (NL) of 14 nanograms per liter (ng/L or parts per trillion) for PFOA and a NL of 13 ng/L for PFOS. California has tested drinking water supplies for PFOA, PFOS and PFASs since 2013 as required by the USEPA under the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR 3). The results are published on the EPA’s website.

The USEPA has established a lifetime Health Advisory Level (HAL) for PFOA and PFOS of 70 ng/L. When both PFOA and PFOS are found in drinking water, the combined concentrations of PFOA and PFOS should be compared with the 70 ng/L HAL. The SWRCB adopted the USEPA HAL of 70 ng/L as the California Response Level (RL). The SWRCB also established Notification Levels (NL) of 14 ng/L for PFOA and 13 ng/L for PFOS. When the NLs are exceeded, the Division of Drinking Water (DDW) recommends the water source be removed from service and treated. When the RL is exceeded, and concentrations cannot be reduced below the US EPA HAL, DDW recommends removing the source from service.

See: https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/drinking_water/certlic/drinkingwater/PFOA_PFOS or visit: https://www.epa.gov/pfas/epa-drinking-water-laboratory-method-537 qa for more details.

BSK’s Low-Level analytical method by LC-MS-ESI (liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry-
electrospray ionization) can detect PFOA and PFOS at the nanograms per liter level. BSK participated in the EPA’s UCMR 3 monitoring program and is certified by NELAC to perform EPA Method 537 rev 1.1 with minimum reporting levels of 1 ng/L and 2 ng/L for PFOA and PFOS, respectively. BSK has applied for ELAP accreditation and is one of the first labs to have submitted an application for this method in California.

For more information, please contact:
Stephane Maupas (Fresno) – 559-497-2888 x212 or smaupas@bskassociates.com
Cyndi Moore (Southern California) – 951-295-6123 or cmoore@bskassociates.com
Renea Rangell (Pacific Northwest) – 360-750-0055 x404 or rrangell@bskassociates.com
Brenda Hamilton (Sacramento) – 916-853-9293 x306 or bhamilton@bskassociates.com