PFAS Sampling Guidance

PFAS sampling is different from other types of sampling because PFAS are present in many things we use in our everyday life, such as water-resistant and stain-resistant products. PFAS can also be present in:

  • Personal care products such as cosmetics and lotions.
  • Insect repellants and sunscreens.
  • Pizza boxes and fast food wrappers.
  • Recycled paper products such as paper towels and notebook paper.
  • Sampling equipment--in the material of the equipment itself or due to PFAS being used in the manufacturing process.
  • Ordinary latex gloves.  (Because PFAS is in latex gloves, samplers  must use powderless nitrile gloves.)

Since PFAS are analyzed in such small quantities--parts per trillion--even the smallest cross-contamination could contribute to a false positive sample.  To learn more about which products contain PFAS and which do not, review the General PFAS Sampling Guidance document, below. Then use the media-specific guidance document for the specific type of sampling you are interested in.

For Residents

Sampling guidance document for residential well for residents preview

This document is intended for residents and homeowners to use when collecting their own sample to send to an environmental laboratory. Most laboratories will provide their own sample collection instructions. This guidance document may be used in conjunction with any sample collection instructions provided by the laboratory. This document does not supersede the laboratory’s sampling instructions.

The Residential Well Sampling Guidance for residents is also available at the Home Sampling Guidance page, along with information about Laboratories Offering Home Testing.

Download the Residential well PFAS Sampling Guidance - For Residents - pdf  
Revised Mar. 2020

For Technical Staff

The guidance documents below are intended for technical staff

  General PFAS Sampling Guidance   PFAS Sampling Quick Reference Field Guide  
General PFAS
Sampling Guidance
Oct 2018
Quick Reference
Field Guide
Oct 2018
Residential Well PFAS Sampling Guidance Groundwater PFAS Sampling Guidance Soil PFAS Sampling Guidance Wastewater PFAS Sampling Guidance Surface Water PFAS Sampling Guidance
Residential Well
Oct 2018
Oct 2018
Nov 2018
Oct 2018
Surface Water
Nov 2018
Fish Tissue PFAS Sampling Guidance Sediment PFAS Sampling Guidance + Quick Reference Guide Surface Water Foam PFAS Sampling Guidance + Quick Reference Field Guide Biosolids and Sludge PFAS Sampling Guidance + Quick Reference Field Guide Leachate PFAS Sampling Guidance
Fish Tissue
Jan 2019
June 2019
Surface Water

Aug 2019
Biosolids & Sludge
Nov 2019
Nov 2020