STEEP team evaluates low-cost method for confident PFAS detection in water

The increasing scale of PFAS in the environment and resultant risks to human health have catalyzed need for reliable and low-cost PFAS detection methods; passive sampling is an alternative to traditional water grab sampling, requiring no power source for in situ deployment. STEEP researchers evaluated a microporous polyethylene tube with a hydrophilic–lipophilic balance sorbent as a flow-resistant passive sampler for PFAS. In addition to efficiency and cost-effectiveness, integrative passive samplers allow for time-weighted averages of PFAS water concentrations, providing a holistic view of contamination over days, tides, and seasons. Research demonstrates tube sampling rates are sensitive to many PFAS compounds and thus may be utilized as a simple tool to screen various water bodies such as wells or rivers.