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A modified QuEChERS sample processing method for the determination of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in environmental biological matrices

by Xiaoyan Yun, Marie J Kurz, Rominder Suri, Erica Mckenzie
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QuEChERS (quick, easy, cheap, effective, rugged, and safe) sample processing methods have previously been applied to a range of compounds and matrices. This study presents a modified QuEChERS sample processing method that was validated and employed for 24 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) for various biological matrices. PFAS are a group of synthetic chemicals that have attracted substantial attention as some compounds are acknowledged to be persistent, toxic, and bioaccumulative. It is crucial to determine PFAS in diverse environmental matrices. Currently, limited sample processing methods for PFAS in biological matrices are available and the majority only focus on a few compounds such as perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). Thus, there is a demand to develop a sample processing method which is effective for many commonly tested PFAS compounds in environmental biological samples. In this study, the detailed sample processing procedures and method performance are described. The highlights of this method are:
• The extraction solvent and salts were adjusted for PFAS extraction from environmental biological matrices.
• The modified QuEChERS method is effective for extraction and cleanup from a variety of matrices including algae, plants, invertebrates, amphibians, and fish.