Poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a large group of anthropogenic substances that have been extensively used for over 60 years. These compounds can resist heat, oil, and water, and hence have been used as coatings in non-stick cookware, carpets, clothing, furnishing, paper as well as stain repellants and in fire-fighting foams. Due to their widespread use and resulting emissions, PFAS have been detected in surface water, groundwater, fish, birds, mammals, and humans worldwide. PFAS are highly persistent and resistant to degradation and have been associated with reproductive toxicity, reduced growth metrics in newborns and elevated cholesterol levels in humans. Currently, there are no federal regulations for PFAS in drinking water and as a result many U.S. states have their own regulation or health advisory levels. Conventional water treatment techniques such as coagulation, flocculation and sedimentation have shown to be ineffective in removing these substances. Our research at the New York State (NYS) Center for Clean Water Technology (CCWT) focuses on evaluating existing and novel water treatment technologies for the removal of PFAS from contaminated groundwater. We additionally feature a certified PFAS testing facility to support statewide monitoring of PFAS in contaminated groundwater and drinking water.
In this webcast, this presentation will (i) provide a brief introduction to PFAS and concerns associated with PFAS, (ii) discuss challenges in the detection and quantification of PFAS in water, (iv) discuss challenges in the treatment of PFAS, and (v) provide a summary of ongoing PFAS research in NYS CCWT and certification requirements.
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