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Interlaboratory Comparison of Extractable Organofluorine Measurements in Groundwater and Eel (Anguilla rostrata): Recommendations for Methods Standardization

Vitenskapelig artikkel
Environmental Science and Technology
Eksterne nettsted
Bridger J. Ruyle, Heidi M. Pickard, Lara Schultes, Felicia Fredriksson, Amy L. Heffernan, Detlef R. U. Knappe, Heather L. Lord, Pingping Meng, Marc A. Mills, Kuria Ndungu, Philipp Roesch, Thomas Rundberget, Daniel R. Tettenhorst, Jean Van Buren, Christian Vogel, Danielle C. Westerman, Leo W. Y. Yeung, Elsie M. Sunderland


Research on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) frequently incorporates organofluorine measurements, particularly because they could support a class-based approach to regulation. However, standardized methods for organofluorine analysis in a broad suite of matrices are currently unavailable, including a method for extractable organofluorine (EOF) measured using combustion ion chromatography (CIC). Here, we report the results of an international interlaboratory comparison. Seven laboratories representing academia, government, and the private sector measured paired EOF and PFAS concentrations in groundwater and eel (Anguilla rostrata) from a site contaminated by aqueous film-forming foam. Among all laboratories, targeted PFAS could not explain all EOF in groundwater but accounted for most EOF in eel. EOF results from all laboratories for at least one replicate extract fell within one standard deviation of the interlaboratory mean for groundwater and five out of seven laboratories for eel. PFAS spike mixture recoveries for EOF measurements in groundwater and eel were close to the criterion (±30%) for standardized targeted PFAS methods. Instrumental operation of the CIC such as replicate sample injections was a major source of measurement uncertainty. Blank contamination and incomplete inorganic fluorine removal may introduce additional uncertainties. To elucidate the presence of unknown organofluorine using paired EOF and PFAS measurements, we recommend that analysts carefully consider confounding methodological uncertainties such as differences in precision between measurements, data processing steps such as blank subtraction and replicate analyses, and the relative recoveries of PFAS and other fluorine compounds.