Testing for PFAS

What is PFAS?

PFAS stands for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, which are a group of human-made chemicals used in a wide range of products for their water and grease-resistant properties. They have been used in various industrial applications, such as in the manufacturing of non-stick cookware, waterproof clothing, food packaging, and firefighting foams. PFAS are persistent in the environment and can accumulate in the human body over time. It’s important to note that PFAS can also be considered “forever chemicals” since they are unable to break down over time.

Why are people concerned about PFAS?

People are concerned about PFAS (forever chemicals) for several reasons:

·        Persistence: PFAS are highly persistent in the environment, meaning they don't break down easily. This persistence can lead to long-term exposure and accumulation in soil, water, and living organisms.

·        Bioaccumulation: PFAS can bioaccumulate in the food chain, meaning that they can build up in the tissues of animals and humans over time. This raises concerns about the potential health effects associated with long-term exposure.

·        Health Concerns: Some studies suggest that exposure to PFAS may be linked to a range of health issues, including developmental effects in fetuses and infants, changes in liver enzymes, increased cholesterol levels, immune system suppression, and an increased risk of certain cancers. However, more research is needed to fully understand the extent of these health risks.

·        Global Reach: PFAS have been detected in various parts of the world, including remote areas. Their widespread presence highlights the need for global efforts to address and mitigate their impact on the environment and public health.

·        Regulatory and Cleanup Challenges: The regulation and cleanup of PFAS contamination pose significant challenges due to the widespread use and persistence of these substances. There is ongoing research and regulatory efforts to address PFAS contamination and establish guidelines for safe levels in drinking water and other environmental media.

Overall, the concern about PFAS revolves around their environmental persistence, potential health effects, and the challenges associated with managing and mitigating their widespread presence in the environment. Regulatory agencies and researchers are actively working to better understand the risks associated with PFAS exposure and to develop strategies for addressing and reducing their impact on human health and the environment.

20 areas where PFAS is a concern

In the past year, PFAS contamination has been found in various locations globally, with particular concern in specific areas due to the widespread use and disposal of PFAS-containing products. It's important to note that ongoing research and monitoring efforts may reveal new sites of concern. Here are 20 locations that have been highlighted for PFAS contamination:

1.      Military Bases: Many military bases, especially those where firefighting foams containing PFAS were used during training exercises or emergencies, have been identified as sources of PFAS contamination.

2.      Industrial Sites: Areas around industrial facilities involved in the production or use of PFAS-containing products may be contaminated.

3.      Landfills: Landfills that received waste containing PFAS, including products like non-stick cookware or waterproof clothing, can be sources of contamination.

4.      Airports: Airports where firefighting foam containing PFAS was used during emergency response training or actual incidents.

5.      Wastewater Treatment Plants: Facilities that receive wastewater from industrial processes or areas with PFAS contamination may contribute to the spread of PFAS.

6.      Chemical Manufacturing Sites: Facilities involved in the production of PFAS or related chemicals may be sources of contamination.

7.      Fire Training Areas: Locations where firefighting training exercises occurred using PFAS-containing foams.

8.      Drinking Water Supplies: PFAS contamination in drinking water sources has been identified in various regions.

9.      Rural Areas: Agricultural areas where PFAS-containing biosolids or contaminated water has been used for irrigation.

10.  Residential Areas: Communities located near industrial facilities, military bases, or other potential sources of PFAS contamination.

11.  Mining Sites: Areas associated with mining activities, where PFAS may be present in certain chemicals used in mining processes.

12.  Electronic Waste Recycling Facilities: Sites where electronic waste containing PFAS-containing materials is processed.

13.  Land Application of Sewage Sludge: Agricultural fields where sewage sludge, which may contain PFAS, has been applied as fertilizer.

14.  Textile Manufacturing Facilities: Facilities involved in the production of waterproof or stain-resistant textiles.

15.  Coastal Regions: Areas near coastlines where PFAS from marine-based activities may enter the environment.

16.  Groundwater Plumes: PFAS-contaminated groundwater plumes can migrate from the original source to affect wider areas.

17.  Surface Water Bodies: Lakes, rivers, and ponds contaminated with PFAS from various sources.

18.  Commercial Airports: Areas surrounding commercial airports where firefighting foam containing PFAS has been used.

19.  Food Processing Facilities: Facilities involved in the processing or packaging of food using PFAS-containing materials.

20.  Oil Refineries: Sites associated with oil refining where PFAS-containing chemicals may be used or released.

It's crucial to stay updated on emerging research and monitoring efforts to identify new locations of concern and to address PFAS contamination effectively. Local environmental agencies, health departments, and relevant authorities often play a key role in monitoring and managing PFAS contamination in specific regions.

Camsco’s commitment to a PFAS-free world

To achieve a PFAS-free world, there is a growing push for regulations and initiatives aimed at reducing the use of PFAS in manufacturing and products, as well as proper disposal of products containing PFAS. Additionally, research is ongoing to develop alternatives that do not pose the same environmental and health risks. The goal is to create a sustainable and healthy environment for current and future generations by minimizing the use and impact of PFAS.

At Camsco, we are leading the way to a PFAS-free world by using alternative materials that do not contain PFAS. Why would you want to test for PFAS by using products that actually contain PFAS?

Camsco can use PFAS-free ferrules and caps eliminating the need for using brass on tubes and keeping them PFAS-free. In addition, we are committed to using PFAS-free packaging for all our product deliveries. At Camsco, we’re proud to set the standard as a PFAS-free manufacturer – even before it’s mandated by the government. 

Pioneers in tube design and productivity

Many of the sorbent tube standards that are common today weren’t always the standard. There are many innovations that Camsco pioneered that have become the industry standard, including ceramic barcodes, laser barcodes, bands, inert coating of internals (wirecloth, g-clips, springs), and more. While other manufacturers try to copy us, we’re on the forefront of helping to solve your most difficult challenges. Need something specific? We can custom manufacture sorbent tubes and related products to meet your most exacting requirements. 

Our goal is to remain as the market leader in quality, service, delivery, and price. If you’re looking for the industry’s most advanced thermal desorption tubes and accessories, designed and manufactured by consumables specialists, we are ready to start the conversation.

See more about testing the air for PFAS.