microscopic organisms

PFAS Testing Facility

Our state-of-the-art, state-certified services

Students in a lab at Bigelow.

Bigelow Laboratory is a nimble, independent nonprofit specializing in challenging analyses — particularly in marine and freshwater environments, seafood, and other ocean life. Our PFAS testing facility is led by Dr. Christoph Aeppli, an expert on PFAS water contamination. He and his team produce critically-needed data on PFAS prevalence and how it behaves and travels in our environment.

Our laboratory’s expertise in aquatic environments and cutting-edge analytical tools make Bigelow Laboratory clear choice for public, private, and research groups in Maine and beyond. We offer the ability to test for a multitude of chemicals, substances, and microbial life across matrices, but we offer far more than a mail-in testing service. Our scientists can provide results with important context, guidance, and next steps — so you’re never on your own.

PFAS Pollutants

A brief intro to “forever chemicals”

Students in a lab at Bigelow.

Though often referred to in the singular, PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, refers to a family of over 10,000 synthetic chemicals that have been widely used in consumer products since the 1950s and are of growing public concern and regulatory interest around the world.

Key Sources of Contamination:
  • Manufacturing (discharge from PFAS plants, other plants working w PFAS)
  • Wastewater treatment plants (sludge to landfill, or biosolids to Agriculture, then groundwater)
  • Landfill (leachate to wastewater treatment plants, or direct to soil if landfill is unlined)
  • Firefighting foams (into various water systems)
Key Sources Of Human Exposure:
  • Drinking water and other water
  • Food (crop, livestock, wild game, packaging)
  • Consumer and workplace products
  • Air (from manufacturing emissions)

Capabilities and Clients

Ever-evolving services available to the public, private sector, and peers

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Our Capabilities

We use EPA methods (533, 1633), and can customize sample processing, detection limits, or target analyte lists for measuring PFAS. We currently test samples from:

  • Water (fresh, salt, waste)
  • Soil
  • Sediment
  • Plant tissue
  • Animal tissue (non-human)

We’re always exploring new types of samples and expanding our offerings, and we’d be happy to discuss your specific needs if they aren’t listed above.

Our Clients

Our clients include a wide range of public and private interests who approach us for a multitude of reasons ranging from regulatory needs to research support.

This includes:
  • Indigenous community members
  • State, county, and municipal governments
  • Public and private institutions and interest groups
  • Scientific peers who are looking to take advantage of our specialized equipment, knowledge, and capabilities at our lab

Other Services

From broader consulting to highly-specialized testing

Students in a lab at Bigelow.

The Bigger Picture

PFAS testing is one step toward identifying issues and promoting healthy water conditions. If you’re looking to better understand other parameters you should be tracking, need help crafting an effective strategy, or simply want help knowing where to start, our Water Health and Humans Initiative team can help!

Other Analytical Services

In addition to PFAS testing, we can provide a broad array of analytical services:

  • Seaweed and microalgal nutritional value, including lipid and fatty acid composition, phenolic content, and proximate analyses (C and N, moisture, ash, lipid, carbohydrate, and protein)
  • Biotoxin analysis, including PSP, ASP, and DSPs
  • Stable isotope analysis (13C and 15N), including low mass (< 20 ug), natural abundance measurements, and tracer approach analyses
  • Other organic pollutants (PAHs, PCB, chlorinated compounds, etc.) and small halogenated compounds (bromoform, etc.) in tissue, sediment, and water.
Students in a lab at Bigelow.

Contact Us

Let’s get in touch

Whether you know exactly what you’re looking for, or need to talk to someone to get a better understanding of what we can do for you, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here and ready to help you.

Email: pfas@bigelow.org
Phone: (207) 315-2567 x 317

 Let's Connect