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Reconciling Terminology of PFAS and New Methods to Address the Data Gaps

23 September 2021 15:00-16:30, United Kingdom

In this webinar we are exploring the current OECD definition of PFAS and how new approach methodologies (NAMs) are able to help us evaluate and assay PFASs for environmental and biomonitoring.

Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are a large and diverse group of more than 4,700 chemicals, containing at least one fully fluorinated methyl or methylene carbon moiety (without any H/Cl/Br/I atom attached to it). They are known for their unique water, heat, and grease repellent properties. PFASs are used in various applications such as refrigerants, flame retardants, fire-fighting foam, construction materials, protective clothing, electrical devices, food packaging, non-stick cooking surfaces, and some personal care products, to name a few.
However, the carbon-fluoride bond is one of the strongest in nature, making these substances highly persistent and bio-accumulative. PFASs can contaminate soil and drinking water sources and have been found in surface waters such as rivers and lakes in the UK. There is increasing evidence of toxicity and adverse health effects in humans, and concerns are being raised about their impact on human health and the environment.
For the effective management of PFAS, the chemical identity of the PFAS actually used, as well as the means to identify the PFAS is needed. 

1. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an intergovernmental organisation in which representatives of 38 industrialised countries co-ordinate and harmonise policies, and work together to respond to international problems. The OECD has recently reviewed the terminology of PFAS and provided recommendations and practical guidance to all stakeholders on its terminology in this report. Dr Eeva Leinala is the Principal Administrator for Programmes on Risk Management, Good Laboratory Practices and Mutual Acceptance of Data at the OECD , United States. She has been coordinating the recent OECD Terminology document on PFAS. Dr Leinala will talk about the OECD Recommendations and Practical Guidance for PFAS Terminology.

2. There are numerous data gaps challenges when evaluating PFAS in the environment, including their widespread presence in a variety of environmental samples, occurrence of isomers for some compounds, and precursor transformations that may occur during preservation and storage of the samples and limited toxicology data. The United States Environment Protection Agency (EPA) scientists are developing validated analytical methods for drinking water, groundwater, surface water, wastewater, and solids, including soils, sediments, biota, and biosolids, which may eventually become standard methods or research methods. Visit EPA's status of PFAS research and development webpage to get updates about this and other PFAS research. Dr Grace Patlewicz from the United States EPA, Center for Computational Toxicology and Exposure will talk about the work of the EPA on PFAS, and the use of New Approach Methods (NAMs) for high throughput assays for a range of toxicological endpoint evaluations. 
Zoom Webinar

Zoom Webinar, United Kingdom

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