Recent research indicates that due to the global spread of PFAS, the irreversibility of exposure and the associated biological effects, a new planetary boundary for PFAS has been exceeded.
Dr. Ian Cousins will discuss the concept of planetary boundaries and his research comparing the levels of four selected perfluoroalkyl acids (PFOS, PFOA, PFHxS, and PFNA) in global rainwater, soils, and surface waters with recently proposed health guideline levels set forth by US and European government officials. These comparisons indicate that the health guidelines have been exceeded around the globe, due to the atmospheric deposition of PFAS.
Although the global emissions of the four perfluoroalkyl acids in this study have been reduced in recent years, these substances remain in the environment due to their high persistence and our lack of capacity to sequester and eliminate them. Removal of PFAS from soil and water is difficult and extremely expensive. Researchers expect they will continually cycle in the hydrosphere, resulting in areas around the globe that may become essentially uninhabitable.
Because of the poor reversibility of environmental exposure to PFAS and their associated effects, it is vitally important that PFAS uses and emissions are rapidly restricted