PFAS ghosts: how to identify, evaluate, and exorcise new and existing analytical interference

By Jacqueline Bangma, Kitrina M. Barry, Christine M. Fisher, Susan Genualdi, Theresa C. Guillette, Carin A. Huset, James McCord, Brian Ng, Benjamin J. Place, Jessica L. Reiner, Anna Robuck & Alix E. Rodowa
Anal. Bioanal. Chem.
January 27, 2024
DOI: 10.1007/s00216-024-05125-y

With increasing public awareness of PFAS, and their presence in biological and environmental media across the globe, comes a matching increase in the number of PFAS monitoring studies. As more matrices and sample cohorts are examined, there are more opportunities for matrix interferents to appear as PFAS where there are none (i.e., “seeing ghosts”), impacting subsequent reports. Addressing these ghosts is vital for the research community, as proper analytical measurements are necessary for decision-makers to understand the presence, levels, and potential risks associated with PFAS and protect human and environmental health. To date, PFAS interference has been identified in several matrices (e.g., food, shellfish, blood, tissue); however, additional unidentified interferents are likely to be observed as PFAS research continues to expand. Therefore, the aim of this commentary is several fold: (1) to create and support a publicly available dataset of all currently known PFAS analytical interferents, (2) to allow for the expansion of that dataset as more sources of interference are identified, and (3) to advise the wider scientific community on how to both identify and eliminate current or new analytical interference in PFAS analyses.


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