Health and Environmental Effects Research
PFAA Days III
The Perfluoroalkyl Acids (PFAAs), such as perflurooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) are persistent environmental pollutants of considerable interest to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) as well as the public. The Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT) and the Office of Water (OW) at US EPA have been actively involved in the health risk assessment of these chemicals. In 2006, US EPA initiated the PFOA Stewardship Program in which eight major companies in the industry committed to voluntarily reduce facility emissions and product content of PFOA and related chemicals on both a domestic and a global basis by 95 percent no later than 2010, and to work toward eliminating emissions and product content of these chemicals by 2015. In 2009, provisional health advisories for PFOA and PFOS in drinking water were issued by OW. In addition, as part of US EPA's comprehensive approach to enhance the Agency's current chemical management program under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), action plans have been announced for several chemicals, including the long-chain PFAAs. These action plans outline the risks that each chemical may present and identify the specific steps the Agency is taking to address those concerns. In the coming years, US EPA will seek formal review and comment on the regulatory actions included in the plans as they are proposed.
Over the past several years, investigators from the US EPA Office of Research and Development's (ORD's) Health and Environmental Effects Research, National Exposure Research Laboratory (NERL), National Risk Management Research Laboratory (NRMRL), and National Center for Computational Toxicology (NCCT) have developed research programs to characterize the toxicity of PFAAs, to explore their modes of actions, to develop analytical methods for their detection in various media, to investigate the fate and transport of these chemicals in the environment, and to construct computational models to predict their behaviors. Collectively, they have made significant strides in these research areas.