PFAS UNITEDD: Poly- and PerfluoroalkylSubstances-U.S.NationalInvestigation of Transport & ExposurefromDrinkingWaterand Diet

EPA Grant Number: R839482
Title: PFAS UNITEDD: Poly- and PerfluoroalkylSubstances-U.S.NationalInvestigation of Transport & ExposurefromDrinkingWaterand Diet
Investigators: Higgins, Christopher , Illangasekare, Tissa , Knappe, Detlef , Hoppin, Jane , Stapleton, Heather , Carignan, Courtney , Adgate, John L.
Institution: Colorado School of Mines , Duke University , Michigan State University , North Carolina State University , University of Colorado at Denver
EPA Project Officer: Packard, Benjamin H
Project Period: May 1, 2019 through April 30, 2022
Project Amount: $1,964,375
RFA: National Priorities: Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances Request for Applications (RFA) (2018) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Water Quality , Water


Develop actionable data on the fate, transport, bioaccumulation, and exposure of a diverse suite of poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in nationally representative PFAS-impacted communities to enable reductions in total PFAS exposure. We believe key data on fate, transport, bioaccumulation, and exposure are currently lacking for many PFASs, and we aim to develop such data. We hypothesize that: 1) Partition coefficients for (de)sorption can be predicted from PFAS retention during liquid chromatography (LC); 2) Vadose zone transport is dictated by PFAS properties and the air-water interfacial area; 3) Plant uptake of overlooked PFASs can be predicted from LC retention; 4) PFAS levels in local food in PFAS-impacted areas are elevated; 5) Differences in serum PFAS reflect differences in drinking water exposure, whereas similarities are consistent with indoor environment exposure; and 6) After drinking water, the primary contributors to exposure will be local food, followed by the indoor environment.


Address key subsurface transport and bioaccumulation data gaps for overlooked PFASs and conduct a detailed exposure assessment in a new MI cohort and compare those results to findings from the PFAS-impacted communities in CO and NC. Coupling the exposure monitoring and assessment from the new MI cohort with biomonitoring and source fingerprinting in two existing cohorts will enable meaningful extrapolation of our findings to other PFAS-impacted communities. Each cohort has a distinct putative PFAS source, and similarities and differences in exposure and chemical fingerprints in environmental media and serum will be evaluated. The data generated will enable risk managers to make informed decisions and reduce total PFAS exposure uncertainties. An Advisory Board composed of PFAS experts, state decision makers, and PFAS-impacted community stakeholders will provide critical input into the project.

Expected Results:

A series of presentations and peer-reviewed manuscripts that will detail the scientific findings of each tested hypothesis. We expect to enable state and local risk managers to: 1) quantitatively predict subsurface transport of overlooked PFASs; 2) predict accumulation of overlooked PFASs in foods from soil or water; and 3) assess interventions to reduce total human PFAS exposure. The findings will be used to develop a guidance for decision makers.

Supplemental Keywords:

media, groundwater, chemicals, hydrology