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Waters Corporation to Assist EPA in the Analysis of Perfluorinated Compounds in Soil and Water

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Waters Corporation has announced that it has entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Exposure Research Laboratory to develop trace level analytical methods for detecting perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) in soil and water.

The goal of the CRADA over the next three years is to develop methods for the sample collection, storage, extraction, cleanup and analysis for trace levels of PFCs.

PFCs are synthetic chemicals used in industries like paper/packaging and textiles/upholstery manufacturing. Scientific studies indicate that these pollutants are toxic, persistent and bioaccumulative and they have been found to be a global pollutant.

Although research is still evolving, it is thought that PFC’s may be linked to liver damage and to developmental and reproductive effects in lab animals. Moreover, the PFC’s appear to remain in the human body for an extended length of time.

Additionally this CRADA will attempt to provide methods to help determine how PFCs are distributed in the environment and how humans are exposed.

Waters Corporation and EPA scientists will develop analytical methods employing liquid chromatography (LC) and mass spectrometry (MS) to measure PFCs at very low concentrations in water and soil. LC/MS/MS analytical methods are more amenable to PFC analysis than the standard gas chromatography (GC)/MS methods and, due to improvements in technology, are more sensitive.

Joe Romano, Senior Manager of Chemical Analysis for the Waters Division of Waters Corporation, said, “The EPA has an outstanding reputation in this type of research. Ultimately, the expertise and experience brought by the parties to this CRADA will help develop a means by which to assess exposure and risks to pollutants that pose the greatest health risks to the American public.”

Said Andy Lindstrom, Research Physical Scientist with the US EPA’s National Exposure Research Laboratory, Research Triangle Park, NC, “This is an important opportunity for the EPA to evaluate state-of the-art instrumentation to help answer the most important questions related to human exposures to the PFCs.”

A CRADA is a formal agreement between private industry and federal laboratories that allow them to work together under the Federal Technology Transfer Act of 1986.

The Intellectual Property Management Group, a department of the West Virginia High Technology Consortium Foundation, under a cooperative agreement with the EPA, helped facilitate this partnership.