Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) are synthetic chemical compounds and are among the group of chemicals commonly referred to as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Chemicals within this group are classified as “emerging contaminants” which means there is a perceived, potential, or real threat to human health or the environment and there is a lack of published health standards. The potential threat to human health exists given the possibility of exposure to PFAS from everyday items and the ability of PFAS to bioaccumulate, leading to the potential for bio-magnification. PFAS are used in manufacturing processes and have been used in the manufacturing of commercial and residential products of everyday items such as non-stick pan coatings, waterproof/repellent clothing, batteries, fire fighting foam, waxes (car and ski) and sprays that repel stains from fabrics and carpeting, to name a few. PFAS are now analyzed and regulated at concentrations in the single digit parts per trillion range.
PFAS do not hydrolyze, photolyze or biodegrade under typical environmental conditions and are extremely persistent in the environment. They are readily absorbed after oral exposure and accumulate in the body. State and Federal regulatory agencies have begun the process of developing and promulgating acceptable PFAS levels in groundwater, drinking water and soils.
Since 2014, C.T. Male Associates has been performing PFAS related investigation and treatment projects in New York, Vermont and New Hampshire and has become an expert in this field. Our work has included drinking water, surface water, groundwater and soil investigations and sampling; design of remedial solutions; design and construction of municipal and private residential water treatment systems; and continual work with Local, State and Federal governments and regulatory officials.
C.T. Male Associates has developed strict field sampling procedures, targeting the elimination of sampling equipment and supplies containing PFAS, to lessen the potential for false-positive analytical results. This is achieved, in part, by obtaining laboratory results of the equipment before it is brought to the project site, compiling a list of acceptable materials, and maintaining brand consistency with disposable materials and supplies.