Rapid Determination of Selected PFAS in Textiles Entering the Waste Stream
By Daniel Simon Drage, Martin Sharkey, Harald Berresheim, Marie Coggins, and Stuart Harrad
January 6, 2023
Due to new European legislation, products entering the waste stream containing some perfluoro alkyl substances (PFAS) are subject to "low persistent organic pollutant concentration limits". Concentrations of restricted PFAS must be below this limit for them to be legally recycled or disposed of. A rapid extraction and clean-up method was developed for the determination of 21 PFAS in various polymers used in soft furnishings and upholstery. The optimised method used vortexing and ultrasonication in methanol (0.1% NHOH), followed by a dilution and syringe filter clean-up step. PFAS were subsequently determined via UPLC-TripleTOF/MS. Good recoveries (80-120%) of target analytes were obtained with tall and narrow chromatogram peaks. The method was validated using control matrix samples spiked with target analytes. Repeated measurements of concentrations of target compounds showed good agreement with the spiked concentrations demonstrating good accuracy and precision. The resultant extracts provided low noise levels resulting in low limits of quantification ranging from 0.1 to 0.4 mg/kg. The developed method was applied successfully to real consumer products and it provided various advantages over traditional methods, including a substantially reduced analysis time, consumables and solvent consumption, and a high sample throughput which is critical to comply with implemented and proposed legislation.