NC A&T Mathematician Nick Luke in his 'lab' is constructing computer-based models to help identify PFAS health goals (photo by Nick Luke)
December 2019

 Dear PFAS Testing Network Colleagues,
As we come to the end of 2019, we would like to take a moment to reflect on some of the PFAS Testing Network's activities and accomplishments over the past twelve months in this special edition of our monthly newsletter. This year has been full of important Network and external PFAS research, policy decisions, media coverage and community engagement and we are highlighting a bit of that important energy and action. We have also curated a list of interesting 'brain food'' features on PFAS related topics for perusal during holiday downtime.

Thank you again to everyone in the Network and all our scientific, government and community partners for all your work addressing PFAS in the state of North Carolina, and for providing valuable feedback and support to us this year. We look forward to the continued advancement of research collaborations in the coming year.


Most sincerely,
PFAS Testing Network Project Management Team
UNC-Chapel Hill

*As a reminder, all our previous newsletters are available here:
We encourage you especially to go back and check out the 'Meet a Network Scientist' section to learn about some of the creative and dedicated researchers working on important PFAS projects.

23 Principal Investigators at 7 NC Universities
90+ Researchers associated with all Network teams 
405 Statewide water testing sites
3 Network PFAS Symposiums
4000+ Network website visits
0 Alligators harmed during PFAS bioaccumulation testing
Follow several Network research teams conducting PFAS field work this summer.
In Case You Missed It

Earlier this summer researchers from the PFAST Network detected high levels of PFAS in the raw water sample taken for testing from the well which was used as the Maysville's source of water.  The Town switched to the Jones County water supply and shared updates with the public here. Network scientists Detlef Knappe and Lee Ferguson (Team 1), whose labs had originally tested the Maysville water, virtually attended a special town hall session focusing on this issue and talked with local officials and concerned citizens. Specific concerns included potential sources of the PFAS contamination (which may be a type of aqueous film forming firefighting foam) and practical remediation methods. Check out a local media report of the meeting here.

NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES WORKSHOP: Identifying Opportunities to Understand, Control, and Prevent Exposure to PFAS
This National Academy of Sciences’ Environmental Health Matters Initiative workshop explored human exposure to PFAS with a special focus on exposure to the general population, options for controlling PFAS exposures and methods for treating and preventing PFAS exposures. Workshop materials and presentation recordings can be found here.

NETWORK WEBINAR FOR EDUCATORS: PFAS: What are they and how are NC scientists investigating their prevalence in the environment and their potential impacts to humans and wildlife? 
This PFAST Network-sponsored webinar tailored to science educators by focusing on topics such as: PFAS and Network overview, how NC scientists are studying potential health effects of PFAS and what can be done to minimize exposure, and how scientists are studying PFAS impacts on ecosystems and wildlife. The recording is available here.

NETWORK SYMPOSIUM: PFAS: Integrating Science and Solutions in NC
This Network and Research Triangle Environmental Health Collaborative co-sponsored event highlighted recent PFAS research and facilitated stakeholder conversations on topics including CDC/ATSDR's Involvement in PFAS and Health, PFAS risk assessments and strategies to limit PFAS exposure. Presentations can be found here.

Holiday Brain Food

Dark Waters is a feature film that tells the story of real life lawyer Rob Bilott, played by Mark Ruffalo, and his two decades of legal action against Dupont for its PFAS manufacturing practices. The movie is inspired by a 2016 article in the New York Times Magazine, The Lawyer Who Became DuPont’s Worst Nightmare. Mr. Bilott first sued Dupont on behalf of a West Virginia farmer in 1998 and then on behalf of 50,000 citizens in the Ohio River area in 2001. DuPont settled Bilott’s class-action suit for $343 million, including the creation of a C8 Science Panel and funding of a PFOA exposure study.

The US Military's Multibillion-Dollar PFAS Water Contamination Problem
CNBC's original investigative video looks at the aftermath of U.S. military's use of a firefighting foam containing PFAS that has seemed into groundwater, and at times drinking water. Communities across the country and globally are wondering what PFAS-contaminated water means for their health, their homes and who’s responsible to clean it all up. Watch here.

Read veteran journalist Sharon Lerner's long-running sharply investigated reporting on PFAS beginning with the 2015 The Teflon Toxin series uncovering Dupont's cover-up of PFAS health risks. Recent entries include:
- EPA Allowed Companies to Make 40 New PFAS Chemicals Despite Serious Risks
- Toxic PFAS Chemicals Found in Artificial Turf
Find all of Lerner's reporting here.

Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)'s PFAS THEMED COLLECTION
The RSC has generated a pair of Themed Issues on PFAS including research by Network scientists.
These themed issues appear respectively in the RSC sister journals:

- Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts focuses on PFAS sources, occurrence, fate and transport, bioaccumulation, human exposure and effects.
- Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology focuses on PFAS treatment, remediation, and management.

The full collection of articles can be found here.


Parting (Snap) Shots


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