PFAS found in a consumer product, or was it?

Ramboll designed and oversaw sampling at a manufacturing facility to identify a source of PFAS in a consumer product.
Ramboll assisted a US client in 2022 whose product, sold over the counter to consumers, was found out to contain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) via sampling and analysis conducted by a third party, despite PFAS not being in the ingredients of the product.
Working closely with our client and suppliers
Ramboll worked closely with the company and manufacturing facility personnel to understand the manufacturing process, the materials involved and ingredients.
The facility personnel, under Ramboll’s supervision, sampled raw ingredients, packaging materials and formulated product. The samples were then analyzed in a commercial laboratory for PFAS. In addition, Ramboll also analyzed samples of the consumer product “off-the-shelf.”
The development of a clear and detailed sampling and analysis plan was important to provide information to the facility on proper sample collection techniques, in addition to focusing on data quality.
Putting forward alternate hypotheses
The results from the investigation suggested that the results from initial testing performed by the third party were confounded by data quality issues and could not be fully reproduced.
Ramboll’s testing results allowed the development of additional hypotheses regarding the potential source of PFAS in the consumer product, and additional sampling and analysis was designed to evaluate these hypotheses.
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  • Jaana Pietari

    Senior Managing Consultant

    +1 978-449-0358