This guide discusses the selection, application, interpretation, and limitations of available preparatory and analytical methods and techniques to identify and determine PFAS in different types of products and material media. This guide provides a flexible, defensible framework applicable to a wide range of product disclosures and restrictions that can be considered in the creation of legislation, regulations, and standards to address PFAS in said products and material media. However, the guide will not establish any criteria for acceptable limits. Instead, the guide is structured to support decisions for choosing preparatory and analytical methods, procedures, and techniques for the evaluation of PFAS in products and manufacturing processes. It also establishes how analytical information may be used in preparing a risk assessment. Specifically, this guide further elaborates on the potential application of various preconditions and different extraction or leaching techniques to determine the release of PFAS from products. The guide provides information on the known advantages, disadvantages, and limitations of the different referenced preparatory and analytical approaches.
The use of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in various products for different applications has come under close scrutiny given the concerns about their environmental persistence and mobility and with the recent classification of some PFAS as having potential health hazards. Regulatory and legislative authorities are increasingly establishing requirements for restriction and disclosure of the intentional use of PFAS in various products. However, many of these authorities have not specified applicable methods for their measurement; in addition, there is little harmonization across current methods.
As of July 2022, the majority of the analytical approaches that have been developed for measuring PFAS have focused on low molecular weight PFAS in environmental samples. For example, Guide E3302 developed by Committee E50 on Environmental Assessment, Risk Management, and Corrective Action describes multiple test approaches that can be applied to relevant aqueous and solid environmental media. The current State-of-the-Art LC/MS/MS analytical instrumentation identified in these environmental methods have direct applicability to other sample matrices such as industrial materials, manufacturing processes, and finished products such as plastics, rubber, textiles, leather, metals, ceramics and other products used by businesses and consumers. However, an important limitation in the performance of PFAS measurement and characterization methods, is the lack of standardized and validated procedures for sample extraction, leaching, preparation, methods for application to a wide variety of highly variable material matrices.
ASTM convened a meeting of stakeholders across multiple committees, disciplines, and product areas on June 3, 2022 to explore the potential role of ASTM in setting standards related to the analysis of PFAS in different product areas. As a result of that meeting, there was significant interest in defining standards applicable to PFAS for sample preparation, leaching, extracting, measuring, characterizing, and interpreting data from various product types and material media. This initial guide is starting point for these standards.
The title and scope are in draft form and are under development within this ASTM Committee.