December 2023 — According to a news announcement in Newsweek-Japan, Eurofins Clinical Testing Services Japan K.K. in Tokyo will be the first in Japan to offer blood sample analysis via microsampling to measure people's exposure to environmental toxins known as Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS or PFASs).
The Newsweek article explains that PFAS are a group of man-made chemicals that are widely used in the manufacturing of many industrial and household products. Unfortunately, these chemicals can pose health risks. PFAS may be found in electrical appliances, home fixtures and some clothing, and are also used in water-repellent sprays, and fire extinguishing agents, among others.
The PFAS chemical compounds can persist in products and the environment for a long time because they break down very slowly. Chronic exposures to PFAS have been linked to environmental problems and a range of health issues for humans and animals.
Newsweek reports that PFAS contamination is thought to be spreading from factory exhaust and fire extinguishing agents to soil, groundwater, public water systems and drinking water, so research and regulation of these are progressing in Japan. In July 2023, the Japanese Ministry of the Environment announced a policy to expand their blood PFAS testing program from a few regions to a broader, nationwide effort.
PFAS levels or concentrations can be detected in blood, so scientists in Japan and other countries around the globe are now analyzing people's blood samples to measure PFAS exposures in different populations.
Remote Blood Sample Collection for PFAS Testing by Eurofins
Eurofins reports that their test is a "simple and safe Blood PFAS Concentration Measurement Service (for Research) using self-collected blood samples."
People can use a special Eurofins kit that contains a Neoteryx® Mitra® device with VAMS® technology from Trajan Scientific and Medical to collect their own blood samples at home. They use a high-flow lancet (*not included in the kit) to puncture their fingertip and collect a few drops of blood onto the absorbent VAMS tips of the Mitra device.
Image: Clinical Testing Services Japan K.K. *Lancet is not included in the kit. Eurofins instructs end-users in Japan to purchase the BD Microtainer® Safety Lancet separately.
After collecting their blood samples, people can seal their sampled devices inside the specimen bag and return packaging that were included in their kits and mail the samples to the Eurofins laboratory for analysis. Their blood samples will dry during transit and are intended to be analyzed as dried blood samples.
The samples will be sent to a Eurofins Group Laboratory (ISO-17025 certified) in the United States, which has a wealth of experience in PFAS testing and has performed many PFAS tests using microsampling. Once the blood samples arrive in the Eurofins Group's lab, a high-sensitivity measurement of PFAS in the blood will be performed using the latest LC-MS/MS analytical equipment available.
The Eurofins Group confirms that the Mitra dried blood microsamples have good correlation with test results performed using liquid (wet) blood samples (r > 0.95, p <0.05) *1).
About Eurofins Japan
Eurofins Clinical Testing Services Japan K.K. is the clinical business area of the Eurofins Group. It serves as a general point of contact for testing services for laboratories in Japan and overseas. It provides high-quality testing and analysis services to a wide range of customers, including medical institutions, clinical testing centers, universities, pharmaceutical companies, and government agencies. For more information, visit https://www.eurofins.co.jp/.