New Standard for EU PFAS Testing unveiled

We have successfully developed and acquired the testing capability to perform prEN 17681-1:2023 tests.

CADS RSL Updated Version 2024

In January 2024, CADS released the 2024 version of the RSL, in which the coverage for perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) was updated to adapt to the latest EU PFAS testing standard prEN 17681-1:2023.

We have successfully developed and acquired the testing capability to perform prEN 17681-1:2023 tests, and are on hand to provide specific testing solutions according to the new standard to ensure compliance.  The Restricted Substance List (RSL) of CADS, comprising industry’s leading research body and various major brands and institutions, has been widely adopted by major brands.

What makes new Standard for PFAS Testing ?

With the widespread use of PFAS in various industrial and consumer products, environmental and health risks are increasingly becoming cause of concern. These compounds, due to their bioaccumulative and toxic nature, pose potential hazards, not least in the textile industry which accounts for a significant part of PFAS consumption globally.

However, traditional methanol extraction methods only reflect extractable PFAS and do not fully capture those polyfluoro or perfluoroalkylated side chains tightly bound to fiber substrates, which are also subject to EU POPs regulations and EU REACH regulations as they may be related to PFOA or C4-C19 substances.

Therefore, methanol extraction alone cannot fully ensure regulatory compliance. Results obtained from methanol extraction of n:2 FTOHs and mono- and polyfluoroesters are also inconclusive at best , as they can be falsified during extraction through uncontrolled ester exchange reactions with methanol.

In light of these issues, the European Committee for Standardization released a new draft testing standard, prEN 17681-1:2023, in December 2023.

Introduction to prEN 17681-1:2023

prEN 17681-1:2023 specifies an extraction testing method using a mixture of methanol/sodium hydroxide solution for alkaline hydrolysis, which effectively degrades and releases side-chain fluorinated polymers containing specific functional groups that are unstable under alkaline conditions, as well as certain perfluorosulfonic acid substances (e.g., 8:2 FTA, 8:2 FTMA, which convert to 8:2 FTOH during alkaline hydrolysis).

Furthermore, to test some PFAS that are unstable under alkaline hydrolysis conditions, the method also provides a description of methanol extraction and offers a method for detecting and quantifying volatile PFAS listed for gas chromatography (GC), to identify possible sources such as PFOA or n:2 FTOHs detected under alkaline hydrolysis conditions.

If you would like to learn more about the CADS RSL update or still have questions about PFAS testing, please feel free to contact us at any time.

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