National News Chooses Suburban for Tap Water Test
The National Desk, operated by the second-largest television broadcaster in the United States (Sinclair Broadcast Group, SGB), performed a drinking water test for harmful PFAS Compounds and chose Suburban Testing Labs to conduct their research. SGB is broadcast on 185 television stations in 86 markets and is a leading local news provider in the country.
Their “Spotlight on America” series is a national award-winning investigative journalism series. Lisa Fletcher and Andrea Nejman worked with STL Project Manager, Lauren Ulle, to submit blind samples to our laboratory for analysis. They collected samples at 11 locations in Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC, including at the US Capital Building and inside the lobby of the EPA. They also submitted various bottled water samples. Samples had unique identifiers, so sites were unknown to laboratory staff. We analyzed samples for 18 PFAS compounds via method EPA 537.1, and the results were surprising.
TND reports, “More than a third of our samples contained PFOA, (Perfluorooctanoic Acid) generally viewed by experts as one of the most serious PFAS chemicals. In two of our tests in suburban Virginia homes, the levels of PFOA were more than 12-hundred times higher than the EPA’s proposed advisory level of .004 parts per trillion.”
Also, the study found PFHxA in nearly every sample, including at the Capital and EPA. This compound is understood to be as harmful as PFOA and PFOS and lasts in the body for a longer period of time. All PFAS bioaccumulate in our bodies. PFAS chemicals can impact the liver, kidneys, and immune system, are associated with cancers, and affects the development of babies.
The 6-minute video segment humanized the impact of PFAS contamination by sharing a story of a mother in North Carolina who’s son Samuel died shortly after birth due to not developing a kidney or bladder. She believes her son’s death can be traced to 3 decades of dumping of PFAS into the Wilmington, NC, river that supplies drinking water to residents. It is estimated that 200 million Americans are drinking polluted water.
Testing for PFAS
PFAS analysis requires the analysis to be performed by a solid-phase extraction (SPE) on the sample, followed by analysis using Liquid Chromatography with tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS-MS).
Analysis occurs at our headquarters without needing to ship samples to an out-of-state facility. Knowing your samples are handled at our lab without the possibility of shipping delays gives our clients peace of mind.
Accredited laboratories performing PFAS analysis in the mid-Atlantic USA are extremely rare. Contact us today for information on how we can help you.