Analysis of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in human blood: methodology and challenges



Date: 11:00:00 - Dec 05 2018
Speakers: Anna Kärrman
Moderators: Tom Lynch

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) is a group that compromises more than 3000 different substances that are extensively used in a broad range of applications and products. Many PFASs are extremely persistent in the environment and the human body and can accumulate over time. As a consequence it is estimated that a large number of water utilities in the US are contaminated by PFASs. The aim of this presentation is to provide an overview of the methodology and challenges regarding analysis of PFASs, focusing on human blood. A rapid and sensitive method for analysis of selected PFASs using low sample volume, a 96-well plate platform, and UPLC-MS/MS will be presented. Challenges such as contamination prevention, structural isomer separation and possible interferences will be discussed.

Key Learning Objectives

  • Extraction of PFASs in human blood
  • Chromatographic separation of PFASs including structural isomers using UPLC
  • Detection and quantification using MS/MS 
  • How to prevent false results originating from contamination and interferences

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Anna Kärrman
Anna Kärrman (Örebro University)

PhD Anna Kärrman is currently an associate professor at Örebro University, Sweden, and is specialized in analytical and environmental research on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) at MTM Research Centre. She started her research on PFASs in 2002 and has performed research in Japan (Kyoto University) and the US (California Department of Substances Control, Berkeley). MTM Research Centre focus on applied research on chemicals in the environment and sustainable development, and is also a reference laboratory for the UN Environment on analysis of PFASs. Dr Kärrman´s current research is focused on the development of trace level analysis of PFASs including novel substances in different matrices, using LC-MS/MS, and methods for non-target screening for fluorinated substances. Quality assurance and quality control of sampling and analysis is also in focus, for example by coordinating interlaboratory trials and conducting training within the UN Environment.


Tom Lynch
Tom Lynch (International Labmate Ltd)

Tom has 35 years’ of experience in the petroleum industry, specialising in the delivery of forensic and problem solving /method development capabilities for BP Fuels and Lubricants businesses globally. He was also a member of the BP Science Council representing Analytical Science and led a BP wide Analytical Science network. Tom has published over 30 citable papers, 4 book chapters and has given over 60 presentations at conferences. He is a past Vice President of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Analytical Division and a past Chairman of the RSC Separation Science Group. In addition, Tom is a recipient of the Silver Jubilee Medal by the Chromatographic Society and a technical achievement award by the Energy Institute.

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