PFAS Roundtable I – PFAS Overview

Mike Carney, Larry Culleen, John Cuthbertson, Marissa Kreider
(Arnold & Porter)

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Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) are a class of emerging contaminants composed of more than 3,000 man-made, fluorinated, organic chemicals (Buck et al., 2011, Wang et al., 2017). The actual number of chemicals is constantly changing, as some PFAS are no longer produced due to regulatory and voluntary actions, while new ones are created as alternatives. Due to their unique chemical properties, PFAS have been commercially used from the 1940’s in many industries worldwide for a wide variety of applications. PFAS issues are a growing environmental concern. While previously focused on items such as non-stick cookware, PFAS are ubiquitous and pervasive in industry and consumer products, and are a growing concern in drinking water supplies. This roundtable will provide an overview of the PFAS issue. Mike Carney, AlterEcho, will provide an introduction to PFAS including its uses and releases. Larry Culleen, Arnold and Porter, will familiarize participants with international and U.S. regulatory actions affecting production and use of PFAS category chemicals, and litigation threats. John Cuthbertson, AECOM, will discuss PFAS characterization methodologies and management strategies including potential PFAS use in the semiconductor industry and potential liabilities the industry may face. Marisa Kreider, Cardno Chemrisk, will compare physiochemical; fate and transport; and toxicological properties associated with a variety of PFAS in an effort to understand potential impacts of substitution to human health and the environment. After the presentations, a roundtable discussion will be held with topics to include risk management strategies to minimize future liabilities.

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