New Research Center Will Focus On PFAS Toxicity And Exposure

New Research Center Will Focus On PFAS Toxicity And Exposure

4:00pm Mar 05, 2020
The Cape Fear River near Pittsboro. KERI BROWN/WFDD

North Carolina State University has a new center to study the effects of PFAS chemicals on the environment and human health.

Researchers at the university have received a five-year, $7.4 million grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Superfund Research Program.

The money will help scientists study PFAS contamination.

This is the class of chemicals found in some drinking water samples in Greensboro over the past few years. Elevated levels were also detected in the Cape Fear River Basin.

The new center will bring together collaborators from NC State and East Carolina University to study toxicity and how to reduce exposure. Some of the things researchers will focus on include potential impacts on thyroid health, how the substances work to suppress the human immune system, and treatment options for drinking water.

PFAS compounds don’t break down easily in the environment or the human body.

That’s why they’re called forever chemicals. They’re used in firefighting foams and other industrial products. They can also be found in consumer goods like cosmetics and food packaging.

Scientists say there are around 5,000 PFAS chemicals in use today.

*You can follow WFDD’s Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news

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