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Analysis of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) in Accordance With EPA 1633 Part 1: Establishing and Assessing the Method


US EPA Method 1633 has become the foundation method for analysis of PFAS in non-potable water matrices, soils, biosolids, and tissues in the United States. The method consists of sample preparation using weak anion exchange (WAX) solid phase extraction (SPE) with graphitized carbon black (GCB) clean up. This application note is the first in a series demonstrating a comprehensive solution for performing the 1633 methodology. The focus of this note is on establishing the LC-MS/MS method on an ACQUITY™ Premier BSM FTN LC System coupled to a Xevo™ TQ Absolute Tandem Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer and evaluating the method performance using waters_connect™ for Quantitation Software.


US EPA Method 1633 was first introduced in August 2021 to become the foundation method for analysis of PFAS in non-potable water matrices, soils, biosolids, and tissues.1 At the time of the writing of this document, Method 1633 is in the 4th Draft Phase with the final version expected to be released near the end of 2023. By the final release of EPA 1633 it will have been multi-lab validated for each type of sample matrix included in the method. The method covers 40 PFAS and utilizes isotope dilution calibration and quantitation. Required sample preparation differs slightly depending on sample type, but all sample types utilize solid phase extraction (SPE) on a weak anion exchange (WAX) cartridge in combination with graphitized carbon black (GCB) clean up. EPA 1633 was created to support sample analysis for the Clean Water Act (CWA) and Department of Defense (DoD) monitoring and remediation, but it covers such a wide range of matrices and compounds that its applicability can be widespread.

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