PFASs pose a serious public health threat because they don’t break down in the environment and can accumulate in a human body over time.
Excerpt: The industrial chemicals known as PFASs have a variety of uses. They’re applied to cookware to keep food from sticking and to carpets and furniture to prevent them from staining. They are also used in foams to fight petroleum-based fires at airfields and other places.
But high exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFASs, has been shown to increase cholesterol levels in humans, interfere with metabolism and the immune system, and raise the risk of cancer, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The University of Rhode Island on Monday is set to announce the awarding of a five-year, $8-million grant to create a center under the federal Superfund Research Program that will be focused on learning more about these manmade chemicals.
The grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences is being used to establish the Sources, Transport, Exposure and Effects of PFASs (STEEP) Program. It is a joint effort between URI, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the nonprofit Silent Spring Institute.