Director's Letter

In environmental health research, PFAS, a group of more than 5,000 chemicals, are gaining notoriety for being ubiquitous and potentially harmful. These per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances are held together by extremely strong bonds; they resist breakdown, persisting worldwide in sediments, surface and ground water, wildlife, and our own bodies.

PFAS also often occur in complex mixtures that can change over time, making them difficult to study. They are used in firefighting foams and in everyday products designed to repel stains, grease, and water. For many of these chemicals, little is known about their effects on human health.

To learn more, NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) grantees are engaged in a range of research and outreach projects to understand how people are exposed to PFAS and potential health effects. They are exploring how PFAS move and change in the environment and are developing innovative remediation methods to clean up PFAS. Importantly, they are also committed to delivering timely updates on scientific research to communities, regulatory partners, and lawmakers to help them better protect public health.

This edition of Science Digest will update you on SRP's expansive work on PFAS. I hope these highlights will inspire more conversation and collaboration to address this pressing environmental health problem.

Kind regards,
William A. Suk, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Superfund Research Program

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