Is That Your PFAS? Using Forensics to Identify Sources
Date: Tuesday, May 17th, 2022
Time: 11am pacific / 2pm eastern
In this webinar we are pleased to have as a special guest speaker Elizabeth Denly, PFAS Initiative Leader & Chemistry Director at TRC. Her presentation will discuss using forensics to identify sources of PFAS.
Highlights of this free webinar:
- The efficacy and limitations of using PFAS analytes as fingerprints for source identification
- Demonstrating the challenges of source identification due to chemical signatures from samples collected at numerous PFAS source areas
- Use of chemical signatures in combination with fate and transport mechanisms for PFAS source identification
Evaluation of the relative composition of individual PFAS compounds in surface water and groundwater samples can be an effective method to identify the source(s) of PFAS in these media. The list of PFAS compounds that laboratories are able to detect, and the list of analytes required by various regulatory agencies continues to expand. As a result, the number of compounds that can be used to “fingerprint” samples is variable with time and with location. Comparison of chemical fingerprints in samples collected from surface water bodies and groundwater located downstream and downgradient of contaminated sites may appear to be the same simply because of the suite of analytes chosen for fingerprinting. Chemical signatures in combination with fate and transport mechanisms (e.g., commingling, persistence, sorption, dilution) must be considered during source identification. Using literature-based data and data collected by the authors, chemical signatures from samples collected at numerous PFAS source areas demonstrate how identification of sources can be challenging. Attendees will learn about the efficacy and limitations of using PFAS analytes as fingerprints for source identification and delineation.