PFAS Science Updates


The scientific community’s understanding of the health and environmental effects of PFAS is evolving at a rapid pace. At the same time, researchers are developing new technologies to assess and remediate PFAS contamination. This section provides the latest updates on developments in PFAS-related science and technology.

Content in this section does not reflect the opinion of Alston & Bird or its attorneys.

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A New OECD Definition for Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances

The report presents a revised, broadly inclusive PFAS definition: “PFASs are defined as fluorinated substances that contain at least one fully fluorinated methyl or methylene carbon atom (without any H/Cl/Br/I atom attached to it), i.e., with a few noted exceptions, any chemical with at least a perfluorinated methyl group (−CF3) or a perfluorinated methylene group (−CF2−) is a PFAS.”

November 16, 2021 | Environmental Science & Technology

Half-lives of several polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in cattle serum and tissues

Cattle that were at steady-state serum polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) concentrations due to several years of exposure to water contaminated by residues of Aqueous Film-Forming (AFFF) firefighting foam had perfluorooctane sulphonate (PFOS) isomers, perfluoroheptane sulphonate (PFHpS), perfluorohexane sulphonate (PFHxS), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) and perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA) in serum. Elimination serum half-lives were determined in five heifers from serial blood sampling over 215 days.

November 9, 2021 | Food Additives & Contaminants

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, epigenetic age and DNA methylation: a cross-sectional study of firefighters

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are persistent chemicals that firefighters encounter. Epigenetic modifications, including DNA methylation, could serve as PFASs toxicity biomarkers. With a sample size of 197 firefighters, the report quantified the serum concentrations of nine PFASs, blood leukocyte DNA methylation and epigenetic age indicators via the EPIC array.

November 2, 2021 | Future Medicine