EPA awards $3.9M for PFAS research
Two grants for research to improve understanding of human and ecological exposure to PFAS in the environment awarded to university programs.
WASHINGTON, DC, MAY 3, 2019 -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is awarding approximately $3.9 million through two grants for research that improves understanding of human and ecological exposure to per– and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the environment. This research is expected to help provide additional information about PFAS to federal, state, tribal, and local officials, as they work together to address these chemicals and protect public health. The research will also promote a greater awareness of how to restore water quality in PFAS-impacted communities.
"These grants will help fulfill a key goal in EPA's PFAS Action Plan: strengthening science and research in order to better understand the characteristics and impacts of PFAS," said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. "This funding will also help researchers develop new strategies to further protect our communities and environment from harmful PFAS exposure."
PFAS are a large group of synthetic chemicals that have been in use since the 1940s. PFAS are found in a wide variety of consumer and industrial products. PFAS manufacturing and processing facilities, facilities using PFAS in production of other products, airports, and military installations are some of the potential contributors to PFAS releases into the air, soil and water. Due to its widespread use and persistence in the environment, most people in the United States have been exposed to PFAS. There is evidence that continued exposure above specific levels to certain PFAS may lead to adverse health effects.
The following universities are receiving grants: Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado, to research the fate, transport, bioaccumulation, and exposure of a diverse suite of PFAS in nationally representative PFAS impacted communities; and Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, to study the toxicity of a large collection of PFAS and PFAS mixtures with the zebrafish assay and mice studies to identify toxic PFAS that require prioritization for risk management.
These grants support ongoing Agency efforts related to PFAS—most notably, EPA's PFAS Action Plan, which includes a long-term research approach to understanding and reducing the potential human health and environmental risks associated with PFAS.