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  • The Aspidia Team

Unearthing Hidden PFAS Variants: A Comprehensive Look at Environmental Contamination

A recent study published in Science Advances has revealed the presence of no fewer than 11 previously unidentified per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the vicinity of the Chemours plant in North Carolina, in addition to the 36 known PFAS. The discovery underscores the extent of the contamination, which exceeds regulatory expectations.

The revelation stems from the limitations of traditional analytical techniques used by regulators, which fail to comprehensively assess the diverse PFAS compounds in an environment. The study employed untargeted methods using high-resolution mass spectrometry to detect and characterize these previously unknown PFAS.

Chemours, a company spun off from DuPont in 2015, has come under scrutiny as a potential source of PFAS contamination in large areas of southeastern North Carolina, where PFAS waste has affected the air, soil, crops, and water.

While regulators are poised to begin monitoring efforts for these 11 newly identified PFAS, the next critical steps include comprehensive health and environmental studies to determine their toxicity and persistence in the ecosystem.

The Aspidia team


Kirkwood-Donelson KI, Dodds JN, Schnetzer A, Hall N, Baker ES.

Uncovering per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) with nontargeted ion mobility spectrometry-mass spectrometry analyses. Sci Adv. 2023;9(43):eadj7048. doi:10.1126/sciadv.adj7048.

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