A new virtual seminar series is providing an opportunity for researchers to share information on per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The first session of the series, which kicked off on July 31 and included more than 400 participants, featured Angela Slitt, Ph.D., of the NIEHS-funded University of Rhode Island Superfund Research Program Center.
PFAS are a large group of chemicals found in everyday products and aqueous film-forming foams, which have been used for fire suppression at airports, industrial facilities, and military sites. Slitt discussed how exposure to PFAS can lead to liver disease. Her research aims to evaluate whether exposure to PFAS contributes to metabolic and liver diseases, and to understand the underlying mechanisms by which PFAS affect health. Importantly, Slitt's research also characterizes chemical properties of PFAS that may contribute to toxicity. This information is critical to predicting how PFAS behave in the body and which PFAS compounds are more likely to harm health.
The Federal Information Exchange on PFAS webinar series, hosted by the Federal Interagency Technical Working Group on PFAS, connects federal scientists and risk communication specialists, and federally-funded academic experts to share findings and identify new tools and strategies to address PFAS. The series, which builds off a similar initiative in 2018, will highlight several speakers each month from now until February 2021. Each session with tackle a different aspect of PFAS research, including remediation, exposure science, and health effects.