SGS AXYS Employs New Method to Measure PFAS in Ambient Air at Very Low Concentrations


While PFAS in drinking water and other ecosystem components have raised alarms throughout the world for some time, PFAS in ambient air is receiving increasing attention for numerous reasons including:

  • Reports of elevated concentrations in communities adjacent to factories producing or using PFAS
  • Evidence of PFAS emissions from incinerators causing elevated concentrations nearby

Once PFAS are in the air, they can also travel far, even as far as the Arctic, causing high levels in wildlife and fish consumed by humans.


Once again, SGS AXYS has put its scientific expertise to use in turning academic/exploratory approaches into robust, reproducible methods ready for large-scale analysis and adoption. We’ve validated a method to measure a suite of 30 PFAS in ambient air at very low concentrations starting at < 1 pg/m3 to help our clients understand PFAS occurrence in air.


Using best practices of isotope dilution LC-MS/MS, the method includes targets such as C4-C14 perfluoroalkyl carboxylates including PFOA, C4-C10 and C12 perfluoroalkyl sulfonates including PFOS, and several other important precursors including fluorotelomer sulfonates, perfluoroalkyl sulfonamides and ether carboxylates such as HFPO-DA. The sampling method is based on the EPA TO-09A method for high-volume sampling of semivolatile analytes and uses a glass-fiber filter for particles and a polyurethane foam (PUF) and XAD sandwich (PUF-XAD-PUF) for gas phase PFAS collection.

We provide sampling media that has been cleaned and checked to a very low PFAS background to support the low reporting limits needed to measure PFAS in ambient air. The sampling media are spiked with isotopically labeled field standards to monitor losses during sampling. The sampling media are compatible with the high-volume samplers used for TO-09A.


The issue of PFAS in ambient air is becoming much more prevalent and SGS AXYS eliminates any doubt about who to rely on for precise, timely and defensible analytical data.

For more information on our method to detect PFAS in ambient air at very low concentrations or to order, please contact us using our webform at Contact Us – SGS AXYS.