Gas-Phase Detection of Fluorotelomer Alcohols and Other Oxygenated Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances by Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometry

By Theran P. Riedel, Johnsie R. Lang, Mark J. Strynar, Andrew B. Lindstrom, and John H. Offenberg
Environ Sci Technol Lett
April 11, 2019
DOI: 10.1021/acs.estlett.9b00196

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are incorporated into an ever-increasing number of modern products and inevitably enter the environment and ultimately human bodies. Herein, we show that chemical ionization mass spectrometry with iodide reagent ion chemistry is a useful technique for the detection of fluorotelomer alcohols (FTOHs) and other oxygenated PFAS, including per- and polyfluoro carboxylic acids such as hexafluoropropylene oxide dimer acid. This technique offers direct, high-time resolution measurement capability with parts per trillion by volume (nanograms per cubic meter) gas-phase detection limits. Measurements were taken by direct volatilization of samples without prior processing, allowing for fast measurements and reduced sample treatment compared to established PFAS methods. We demonstrate the utility of this technique by sampling volatile and semivolatile PFAS from fluoro additives and fluoro products to quantify levels of FTOHs and identify additional fluorinated compounds for which standards were unavailable.

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