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ASTM International to hold workshop on PFAS in atmosphere

ASTM International is hosting a Workshop on PFAS in Atmosphere – Sources, Sampling, and Standards, to be held 1-2 November 2023, in Washington, DC. The event is sponsored by ASTM International’s air quality committee (D22) and will be held in conjunction with the committee’s November standards development meetings.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are either volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or semi volatile organic compounds (SVOCs). The carbon-fluorine (C-F) bonds in PFAS lead them to be very stable chemically. Furthermore, perfluorocarbon moieties in PFAS are both hydrophobic and oleophobic, making many PFAS effective surfactants or surface coatings.

(Fluoropolymers are one specific class of PFAS, and play a significant role in the automotive industry. Applications include fuel lines, fuel hoses, turbocharger hoses and hoses in hydraulic systems; ABS brake lines; O-rings; shaft seals and valve stem seals; air intake manifold and cylinder head gaskets; and fuel cells and batteries.)

Concerns over exposure to PFASs and their potential health effects have increased significantly among researchers and risk managers because of their persistence, developmental toxicity, and other health effects in laboratory animals and their ubiquitous presence in humans, wildlife, and environmental media. Inhalation of air containing PFAS substances contributes to aggregate exposures. Air is also an important exposure pathway that can contribute to elevated concentrations of PFAS in indoor dust, soil, and waterways.

This workshop will cover sources, sampling, and standards of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from various atmospheres including indoor air, outdoor air, workplace air, and air sampled from chambers during product testing.

While there have been a few PFAS methods developed for water, soils, sediments, biosolids, and biota, there are currently no similar efforts for vapor-phase PFAS in air. There is a need to develop harmonized and consensus test standards that focus on sampling and analysis of PFAS in air.

Specific topics include:

  • Sources: Where do PFAS come from?
  • Sampling (& Analysis): How to ensure good data quality
  • Standards: What is needed?


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