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Effect of Sample Storage on the Quantitative Determination of 29 PFAS: Observation of Analyte Interconversions during Storage

  • Million B. Woudneh*
    Million B. Woudneh
    SGS AXYS Analytical Services Ltd., 2045 Mills Road West, Sidney, British Columbia V8L 5X2, Canada
    *E-mail: [email protected]. Phone: +1 (250) 655-5800. Fax: +1 (250) 655-5811.
  • Bharat Chandramouli
    Bharat Chandramouli
    SGS AXYS Analytical Services Ltd., 2045 Mills Road West, Sidney, British Columbia V8L 5X2, Canada
  • Coreen Hamilton
    Coreen Hamilton
    SGS AXYS Analytical Services Ltd., 2045 Mills Road West, Sidney, British Columbia V8L 5X2, Canada
  • , and 
  • Richard Grace
    Richard Grace
    SGS AXYS Analytical Services Ltd., 2045 Mills Road West, Sidney, British Columbia V8L 5X2, Canada
Cite this: Environ. Sci. Technol. 2019, 53, 21, 12576–12585
Publication Date (Web):October 2, 2019
Copyright © 2019 American Chemical Society

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    Abstract Image

    In this study, we measured the effects of sample type and storage temperature on the stability of 29 per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) in water. Spiked bottled water, surface water, and two types of effluent samples were stored in HDPE containers at +20, 4, and −20 °C over a period of up to 180 days. The analytes studied included C4 through C14 perfluorinated carboxylates (PFCAs); C4 through C10 and C12 perfluorinated sulfonates (PFSAs); 4:2, 6:2, and 8:2 fluorotelomer sulfonates (FTS); three perfluorooctane sulfonamides (PFOSA, N-MeFOSA, and N-EtFOSA); two perfluorooctane sulfonamide ethanols (N-MeFOSE and N-EtFOSE); and two perfluorooctane sulfonamide acetic acids (N-MeFOSAA and EtFOSAA). Overall, 10 analytes, PFOA, PFNA, 8:2 FTS, PFOSA, N-MeFOSA, NEtFOSA, N-MeFOSAA, N-EtFOSAA, N-MeFOSE, and N-EtFOSE, showed increasing or decreasing concentration trends under at least one of the experimental conditions investigated. Increases in concentrations of N-MeFOSAA and N-EtFOSAA in surface water and effluent samples at +20 and 4 °C correlated with the decreases in the concentrations of N-MeFOSE and N-EtFOSE, respectively, suggesting analyte interconversion during sample storage. This is the first time such analyte conversion is reported in samples under storage, and this work demonstrates the importance of assessing stability of PFAS in environmentally relevant matrices. The significance of this study extends beyond sample storage for analysis, as toxicological and exposure studies conducted at room temperature also need to consider the significance of analyte degradation through the exposure process.

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    The Supporting Information is available free of charge on the ACS Publications website at DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.9b03859.

    • Instrument acquisition parameters, analyte identification criteria, and plots of concentration versus time for the various analytes studied (PDF)

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