What the Food Industry Needs to Know About PFAS Testing

By Richard Jack, Global Market Development Manager of Food and Environmental at Phenomenex, and Craig Butt, Manager of Applied Markets, Strategic Global Technical Marketing at SCIEX

Regulatory agencies in Europe and the United States have begun placing statutory limits on PFAS in drinking water and in consumer products. These efforts join calls from the public for companies to reduce or eliminate PFAS in the products they make. Punctuating their concerns are a flurry of lawsuits against manufacturers of PFAS compounds, such as E.I. du Pont de Nemours, 3M, Chemguard, and many others. New limits of detection, combined with studies linking harms to increasingly lower PFAS concentrations, mean that many manufacturers, especially those in the food and beverage industry, are facing new concerns about whether and how to test for PFAS.  

In this article, PFAS experts Dr. Richard Jack and Dr. Craig Butt discuss major challenges that food manufactures encounter when testing for PFAS, identifying sources of contamination, and finding alternatives to help reduce or eliminate consumers exposure.

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About the authors:

Richard Jack, Ph.D., is the Global Market Development Manager for the Food, Cannabis and Environmental Markets at Phenomenex. Richard has nearly two decades of experience in product and market development in the analytical sciences industry, including as a former EPA Scientific Advisor developing validated methods through new applications, instrumentation, column chemistries, and software. Richard received his M.S. in Ecology from the Univ. of TN, Knoxville, TN. and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Anaerobic Microbiology from VA Tech in Blacksburg, VA.

Craig Butt, Ph.D., is the Senior Staff Scientist, Food/Environmental, Global Technical Marketing at SCIEX. He puts over 20 years of mass spectrometry experience to work developing groundbreaking MS methods for the environmental chemistry and toxicology of PFAS and persistent organic contaminants. He obtained his PhD in environmental chemistry at the University of Toronto where his thesis research investigated the fate of PFAS in biological systems. He was an NSERC post-doctoral research fellow in the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, later becoming a research scientist in the department.

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