Waters Corporation announced it has entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) National Exposure Research Laboratory to develop trace level analytical methods for detecting perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) in soil and water. The goal of the CRADA over the next three years is to develop methods for the sample collection, storage, extraction, cleanup and analysis for trace levels of PFCs.
PFCs are synthetic chemicals used in industries like paper/packaging and textiles/upholstery manufacturing. Scientific studies indicate that these pollutants are toxic, persistent and bioaccumulative and they have been found to be a global pollutant. Although research is still evolving, it is thought that PFC's may be linked to liver damage and to developmental and reproductive effects in lab animals. Moreover, the PFC's appear to remain in the human body for an extended length of time.
Additionally this CRADA will attempt to provide methods to help determine how PFCs are distributed in the environment and how humans are exposed. Waters Corporation and EPA scientists plan to develop analytical methods employing liquid chromatography (LC) and mass spectrometry (MS) to measure PFCs at very low concentrations in water and soil. LC/MS/MS analytical methods are more amenable to PFC analysis than the standard gas chromatography (GC)/MS methods and, due to improvements in technology, are more sensitive.