EKI takes a solution-oriented approach to addressing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and other emerging contaminants. Our staff have experience planning and implementing strategic site investigations, testifying on large and complex legal matters, evaluating conventional and novel PFAS treatment technologies, using forensic methods to identify sources of PFAS and other emerging contaminants, and presenting and communicating research findings and implications of evolving regulations at technical conferences and webinars.

PFAS are a large group (over 4,000 individual compounds) of anthropogenic chemicals with properties ideal for a wide range of consumer and industrial products. These properties and applications include but are not limited to:

  • water- and oil-repellency for stain resistant materials
  • surfactant foaming properties for aqueous film-forming foams (AFFFs), a type of military-grade firefighting foam
  • resistance to heat and degradation for cables and wiring for electronics

Commonly detected PFAS include the subclasses perfluoroalkyl sulfonic acids (PFSAs), including perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), as well as perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acids (PFCAs), including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). PFOS and PFOA have been shown to be persistent in the environment, bioaccumulative, and toxic to humans and animals.

Many states have adopted maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) for PFAS specific to the type of PFAS contamination in that state. California currently has drinking water notification and response levels for PFOA, PFOS, and other PFAS in the low parts per trillion range and is in the process of adopting MCLs for PFOA and PFOS.