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Karla Buechler
Karla Buechler

Corporate Technical Director

Karla Buechler, Technical Director for TestAmerica based in Sacramento, California, has more than 30 years of experience in the environmental testing industry.  She has held positions in Laboratory Management, Project Management and has many years of hands-on experience with chromatography including Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry and High Resolution Mass Spectrometry. In her current role she is the subject matter expert for PFAS and related LCMSMS analyses.  Ms. Buechler earned her BS in Biochemistry from the University of California at Davis, 1984.


Closing the PFAS Mass Balance in Sediments and Tissues: The TOP Assay

Current methodologies for the analysis of PFAS are designed to measure a discrete list of ~30 compounds.  There are many additional PFAS compounds that are not determined as discrete compounds by existing analytical methods, including Method 537.  Hence, we may be underestimating the PFAS risk potential present in the environment.  There is significant pressure from the public, environmental agencies, and others to apply methodologies that more closely measure the full extent of PFAS contamination.  A new procedure, the Total Oxidizable Precursor (TOP) assay, can help measure the concentration of non-discrete and difficult to measure PFAS compounds that are not determined by conventional analytical methods. To date, the TOP assay has typically been applied to aqueous matrices.  Additional challenges exist for more complex sediment and tissue matrices. Assessment of TOP assay data may improve our understanding of potential PFAS risk in sediment and tissue matrices.

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