Using E-FAST platform to predict human exposure to PFAS via discharge from semiconductor facilities

Jordan Kozal, PhD, Andrey Massarsky, PhD, and Andrew Monnot, PhD

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are ubiquitous in the environment. PFAS do not readily degrade in the environment, may bioaccumulate through the food web, and have the potential to cause adverse effects to the health of humans and wildlife. Unlike other persistent chemicals, these chemicals are highly soluble in water and tend to partition to surface and groundwater rather than soil and sediment in the environment. The current study explores a modeling approach that could be used to evaluate human exposure to newer and less studied PFAS. This study focuses on perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), since these are the two most commonly studied PFAS, facilitating validation of the approach. Specifically, the Exposure and Fate Assessment Screening Tool (E-FAST) was used to estimate exposure to PFOA and PFOS via ingestion of drinking water and consumption of fish following a discharge from facilities where semiconductor materials were produced and/or used (which discharged into rivers or ocean), using a wide range of hypothetical industrial release scenarios (0.001-10 kg PFOA or PFOS per site per day). Adult exposure to PFOS and PFOA from fish and drinking water consumption were estimated. Specifically, the potential lifetime average daily dose (LADDPOT) values for consumption of PFOA- and PFOS-containing fish were estimated for freshwater and marine water bodies using E-FAST. Further, the LADDPOT values for ingestion of PFOA- and PFOS-containing drinking water were estimated using E-FAST. We conclude that the outlined approach will serve as a useful tool to predict the human exposure to newer and less studied PFAS and potentially other chemicals with limited information, and can be applied to estimate potential exposure from discharge of these chemicals from semiconductor facilities.

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