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New PFAS testing method, new challenges — overcoming the limitations and complexities of EPA Method 1633

The recent rise in public concern about PFAS contamination has sparked increased attention from regulatory bodies. In light of the potential negative health impacts of these so-called “forever chemicals,” remediation efforts are accelerating, and regulatory requirements are becoming more stringent.

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14 JUL 2023 ALS

They are nearly everywhere and there are many of them: Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a group of long-lasting chemicals used to make a wide variety of stain-resistant, water-resistant, and non-stick consumer goods. Because they’re so indestructible, PFAS accumulate in food, water, and the air. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 97% of the U.S. population has PFAS in their bodies.


Introducing EPA Method 1633

In response to the growing need for reliable PFAS testing in the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed EPA Method 1633. This testing method is specifically designed for quantitating up to 40 unique PFAS compounds in various matrices.  These include detecting PFAS in non-potable water, liquids (such as groundwater, stormwater, runoff, and landfill leachate), and detecting PFAS in solid matrices (such as soil, biosolids, and biota).

EPA Method 1633 provides a standardized and validated approach for PFAS analysis in matrices other than drinking water, addressing the lack of industry standardization and helping ensure credible and scientifically defensible data.


Limitations of EPA Method 1633

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized its analytical method 1633 on January 31, 2024. The method is used to test for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in environmental samples, such as water, soil, and tissue. While it offers improved accuracy in detecting PFAS compounds, users of the test need to be aware of some considerations:

  • The method's focus on wastewater and its limitations with aqueous samples containing high solids may pose challenges for some users.
  • handling, storage, and processing requirements specified in Method 1633 may increase the time and expense required for analysis.

While the benefits of standardized, validated results and defensible data certainly outweigh these challenges, users of EPA Method 1633 will be seeking partnerships to help overcome them.

To address the challenges presented by Method 1633, the most prepared testing service providers are investing in resources and expertise to streamline processes and reduce PFAS testing turnaround times for users of the method. These efforts can help customers receive faster and more reliable results for their PFAS testing needs, despite the complexities associated with the method.


ALS: a Trusted Partner for PFAS Testing

With years of experience in analyzing PFAS samples using the most advanced techniques available, ALS has embraced EPA Method 1633 and made significant investments in state-of-the-art equipment and resources to mitigate the method’s challenges. A highly experienced team and dedicated testing laboratories allow ALS to navigate the intricacies of the method, providing clients with efficient and accurate results in a timely manner. ALS supports the effort to acquire defensible data and is committed to delivering reliable, high-quality testing services.

Advanced proficiency in PFAS analysis makes ALS an ideal partner for users of Method 1633. Optimized workflows, coupled with cutting-edge technology, enable ALS to deliver results using EPA Method 1633 efficiently and accurately. With the impending finalization of EPA Method 1633, you can have confidence that the data you receive from ALS is in accordance with the industry standard, helping to ensure the reliability and defensibility of your results.

For more info about how ALS has invested in preparing for Method 1633, check out PFAS EPA Method 1633: Answers to six key questions.



EPA Method 1633 represents a significant advancement in PFAS testing, offering enhanced accuracy in detecting these persistent chemicals. The method’s limitations and complexities are being addressed by ALS, a leading testing company experienced in PFAS analysis. By investing in resources to enable fast and reliable Method 1633 testing results, ALS is committed to providing clients with peace of mind.

To find out how ALS can help you prepare for upcoming EPA Method 1633 testing, contact us today.