University of Arizona
Cam Henson is pursuing a Master's degree in environmental science from The University of Arizona. Cam's research involves analysis of organic contaminants, including PFAS, present in roof-harvested rainwater using high performance liquid chromatography and high-resolution mass spectroscopy (HPLC-HRMS). Cam is interested in improving analytical methods for detecting PFAS in water to increase the understanding of the fate and transport of PFAS in the environment and the effects these compounds have on human health.
Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in roof-harvested rainwater using LC-Q-ToF-MS
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances have been shown to be ubiquitous in the environment, especially in surface water, groundwater, and even drinking water. In water stressed climates, such as the Sonoran Desert, rainwater harvesting systems are becoming a popular method of conserving water. Project Harvest (PH) seeks to fortify informal science learning in underserved communities and help generate water quality guidelines and recommendations for non-potable, roof-harvested rainwater in domestic use. Currently, there are no national water quality standards for potable or non-potable roof-harvested rainwater for domestic usages. PH is a citizen scientist driven program that teaches communities across the state of Arizona the scientific method. Over the course of three years, participants will collect roof-harvested rainwater samples to be analyzed for bacteria, organic and inorganic contaminants. These results provide the organic chemistry aspect of this project, particularly investigating the presence or absence of PFAS in approximately 1,000 roof-harvested rainwater samples from four underserved communities in Arizona. Using liquid chromatography quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (LC-Q-ToF-MS) multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) experiments were conducted to detect the presence of perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorobutane sulfonate (PFBS), and perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) in the negative mode.