Analysis of PFAS

(Per- and poly- fluorinated alkyl substances)

PFAS are an emerging class of contaminants that have become a significant concern in recent years.

PFAS are a group of synthetic (man-made) compounds that have been produced commercially since the 1950s – the most common being perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). PFAS compounds have been widely used for decades in consumer products such as carpeting, upholstery, and food paper wrappings; and in industrial applications such as metal plating and Aqueous Film Forming Foams (AFFFs) used for firefighting. Manufacturing of these compounds has been phased out since 2002, but PFAS may still be found in imported products, or as part of old stock.

Critically, as PFAS do not decompose easily, (i.e. they are very persistent in the environment) they can be found in air, water and soil and are known to bio-accumulate in some living organisms. Once ingested, PFOS and PFOA are eliminated very slowly from the human body. This means concentrations in the body increase over time, if they are continuously consumed.

Why choose AsureQuality

  • AsureQuality are New Zealand’s only local provider of comprehensive PFAS testing
  • AsureQuality’s PFAS analysis methods meet the requirements in Section 8.6 of the PFAS National Environmental Management Plan (PFAS NEMP 2.0, January 2020)
  • Drinking Water Standards for New Zealand (DWSNZ) Regulations 2022
  • AsureQuality has extensive experience analysing a wide range of matrices for PFAS.  We provide technical and analytical support to a variety of contaminated site investigations in New Zealand and Australia
  • AsureQuality PFAS analysis addresses a comprehensive range of analytes including branched and straight chain PFAS compounds
  • AsureQuality’s PFAS analysis consistently performs well in Australian and European PFAS proficiency programs
  • Highly experienced with existing clients from across Australia and New Zealand, and involvement in the analysis of samples from highly contaminated sites
  • All methods are developed in-house and are based on literature references and/or standard methods. Further detailed documentation of test methods is available on request
  • Ability to adapt methods for other sample types (this would take some time and likely incur additional costs)
  • Supply sample containers and PFAS-free reagent water for rinsing equipment during field sampling
  • World-class reporting limits - ultra-trace (ppt) levels for key matrices (refer to Table 1). These limits meet the requirements of the FSANZ (Food Safety Australia and New Zealand) recommended health-based guidance values.

Sample types

Water: Treated potable water, untreated potable groundwater, non-potable fresh water, leachate, sea water and reagent water.

We have two methods for water samples

  • PFCS01//03 (Suitable for drinking (potable) water only) and
  • PFCS01//05 (suitable for all water types including drinking water).

The Drinking Water Standards for New Zealand (DWSNZ) Regulations 2022 have the same limits as the Heads of EPAs (Australia and NZ) PFAS National Environmental Management Plan 2.0 (Jan 2020). 


DWSNZ 2022

Maximum acceptable value

Heads of EPAs (Australia and NZ)

PFAS National Environmental Management Plan 2.0 (Jan 2020)

Drinking Water Guidelines

Heads of EPAs (Australia and NZ)

PFAS National Environmental Management Plan 2.0 (Jan 2020)

Recreational Water Guideline

AQ Test


Suitable for drinking water only


AQ Test


Suitable for all water sample types including drinking water



0.00007 mg/L

(0.07 µg/L)

0.07 µg/L

2 µg/L

0.001 µg/L

0.025 µg/L


0.00056 mg/L

(0.56 µg/L)

0.56 µg/L 10 µg/L 0.001 µg/L 0.025 µg/L

The PFCS01//03 method is generally not suitable for non-potable water because these samples are often coloured with dissolved organic material, have higher dissolved solids and higher levels of suspended particulate matter, all of which interfere with the extraction procedure of the test.  Please contact us to discuss the suitability of your sample types for these two water test options.

Soil, Sediment, Biosolids: All soil/ sediment types (e.g. clay, sand, top soil, compost, fresh and marine sediments) and wastewater treatment plant biosolids. We also offer TCLP with PFAS analysis for soil, sediment and biosolid samples.

Blood/Serum: Animal and human blood (whole blood and serum).

Milk and Dairy Products:  Animal milk and dairy products; human milk.

Vegetation and Tissue: All fruit and vegetables, plant matter, animal tissues (including liver) and biota.

Liver: Sheep and cow liver.

Table 1.  Reporting limits for other key matrices.

Matrix Reporting Limit
Soil 0.001 mg/kg
Serum, Blood 

0.1 ng/mL

Milk (liquid) 0.05 µg/kg
Milk Products 0.5 µg/kg
Vegetation, Tissues, Eggs 0.25 µg/kg
Liver & High Fat Vegetables 0.5 µg/kg

NOTE:  For guidance on sample collection procedures and minimising contamination, please refer to PFAS National Environmental Management Plan (PFAS NEMP 2.0, January 2020)  here: PFAS National Environmental Management Plan 2.0 - DCCEEW(external link)