PFAS refers to Per & Poly Fluorinated Alkyl Substance which is a group of long chain fluorinated organic compounds used in various industrial applications. Australia and other leading nations have banned the usage of the PFAS containing chemicals.
PFAS is a family of chemicals including PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate), PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) and PFHxS (perfluorohexane sulfonate). The strong fluorine-carbon bond made it a good industrial chemical for various uses including as a fire retardant, carpet cleaners, non-stick cookware etc.
Due to its strong bond, it does not readily break down in the environment and can be found in soils, groundwater and sediments even after prolonged time period. The highly soluble nature of the chemical enables it to travel far in the water medium causing offsite migration issues.
The Head of the EPAs have published guidelines including health and ecological criteria for soils and water used for various purposes and is continuing to develop the guidelines. Although experimental animal studies indicate bioaccumulation of PFAS compounds in their system leading to various systemic effects such as digestive, immune and nervous systems and effect on organs, no clear human health risk is established. However, Australian Government is careful in managing the unknown risks this chemical compound could pose and is taking efforts in a conservative manner as a proactive measure.
Consultants at K2 Consulting Group have been working in the forefront of PFAS investigations and can assist our Clients in PFAS contaminated site investigation, monitoring and remediation of PFAS in soils and groundwater. We follow the various phases of contaminated land investigation as outlined in the NEPM 2013 in addition the NEMP 2018 guidelines.
Call us to discuss your scenario if you suspect PFAS contamination in current site that you would like to talk to or in a property that you are planning to buy. All matters are treated confidentially.