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Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

PFOS Levels (FOI)

PFOS Levels (FOI)

Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 14 April 2022.
Prepared internally, no external costs.


Re FoI Missing PFAS Sample Results (FOI) February 2022.

This request included:

"The 23-page document does not contain any information on the minimum detection level or the minimum quantitation level achieved by the laboratory. Without this information claiming that no traces of either PFOS or PFOA were identified is rather meaningless. Please provide these figures for both PFOS and PFOA "
The response to this FoI request included that there was an error in to 2019 PFAS report and that no tests had been carried out for PFOA. 

The FoI response did not address the request for the minimum detection levels and minimum quantitation levels for PFOS. Without these figures the statement that no traces were detected in meaningless. 


Please will you now provide the minimum detection levels and minimum quantitation levels for the tests which were conducted. I recognise that there will be no figures for PFOA as no tests were carried out for the chemical.


Please also advise me what minimum detection levels and minimum quantitation levels for PFOS were requested from the analysing laboratory and what such levels were offered by the laboratory. 



Some assumptions have been made regarding the information requested as explained below.  Therefore, based on these assumptions some of the information requested is included within the sample results provided in response to a previous Freedom of Information response.  Therefore, this information is partially exempt under Article 23 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 because it is already accessible to you on

PFOS & PFOA sample results (FOI)

Information considered relevant to the request has been highlighted within the attached sample results. 

Explanations have also been provided, to assist with reviewing this information. 

  • RL = Reporting Level, this is the level that the testing kit used by the lab can report on. (Assume that this is what you mean by minimum detection level)
  • ND= No detection within the reportable level
  • Conc.(ng/l) = Concentration in nano gram per litre used for milk samples
  • Conc.(ng/g) = Concentration in nano gram per gram used for potato samples
  • Samp size = The size of the sample that was tested
  • Data qualifiers, abbreviations and test method information are included page16 onwards in the sample result document 

It should be noted that when a report states that no PFOS was detected this does not necessarily mean that the sample did not contain any PFOS.  

Depending on the test equipment used it can only detect the presence of PFOS if it is over the amount indicated by the reporting level.  For example, if the reporting level is 50 nano grams per litre, then the test would only be able to detect any PFOS present in the sample if it the amount present was over 50 nano grams per litre. 

The meaning of 'minimum quantitation levels' in the request has been taken as being similar to the reportable levels, and this has been highlighted along with the sample sizes used in each test carried out. 

The Government of Jersey does not hold any further information and Article 10 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 applies. 


Vista Analytical Laboratory (Vista) used their standard reporting levels since the Government of Jersey did not request the use of any specific levels.  Vista's detection reporting levels were based on the standard test kits they were using at the time the Government of Jersey requested testing to be carried out.  

The Government of Jersey have provided all information held in relation to the sample results, therefore Article 10 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 applies. 

Articles applied 

Article 23 - Information accessible to applicant by other means 

(1) Information is absolutely exempt information if it is reasonably available to the applicant, otherwise than under this Law, whether or not free of charge. 

(2) A scheduled public authority that refuses an application for information on this ground must make reasonable efforts to inform the applicant where the applicant may obtain the information. 

Article 10  - Obligation of scheduled public authority to confirm or deny holding information 

(1) Subject to paragraph (2), if – 

 (a)  a person makes a request for information to a scheduled public authority; and

 (b) the authority does not hold the information, it must inform the applicant accordingly.

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