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Project Information

Project Information

Workshop on Federal Government Human Health PFAS Research

Project Scope:

An ad hoc planning committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will organize a workshop to review federal agency research on perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances and to identify research and data gaps. Topics may include the following:

1) Human health hazards, including

a. Identification and characterization of health effects or bioactivities of interest in human populations.

b. Criteria/factors to be considered when addressing a variety of different health effects within the decision-making process (e.g., severity vs. dose).

c. Approaches for extrapolating from animal health effects to human health effects.

d. Toxicokinetic and toxicodynamic issues related to extrapolating across species. For example, will toxicokinetic research increase understanding related to the default assumption of toxicity increasing in direct relationship with the half-life of PFAS? Will toxicodynamic research increase understanding of cross-species sensitivity for health effects (such as immune, liver, thyroid, reproductive/development effects)?

e. Approach(es) for identification and use of PFAS additivity, synergism, or antagonism.

f. Potential benefits of defining a class-based approach to characterizing PFAS health effects.

2) Human exposures, including

a. Approaches for prospective biomonitoring of human populations at greatest risk.

b. Identification of exposure sources and potential exposure pathways including the determination of relative source contribution and fate and transport for the different exposure pathways (e.g., water, air).

c. Consideration of potential ecotoxicological and ecotoxicokinetic issues which may impact human exposures, e.g. through agricultural or subsistence food web pathways.

Status: Current


RSO: Duke, Clifford


Environment and Environmental Studies
Health and Medicine

Geographic Focus:

Committee Membership

David C. Dorman - (Chair)
David Dorman is Professor of Toxicology in the Department of Molecular Biomedical Sciences at North Carolina State University. His research interests include neurotoxicology, nasal toxicology, pharmacokinetics, and cognition and olfaction in animals. He has served on advisory boards for the US Navy, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the US Department of Agriculture, and the National Toxicology Program. He has chaired or served on several National Academies committees and is a National Associate of the National Academies. His past service includes chairing the Committee to Develop a Scoping Plan to Assess the Hazards of Organohalogen Flame Retardants, the Committee on Endocrine-Related Low Dose Toxicity, the Committee on Predictive-Toxicology Approaches for Military Assessments of Acute Exposures, and the Committee on Potential Health Risks from Recurrent Lead Exposure of DoD Firing Range Personnel. Dr. Dorman is an elected fellow of the Academy of Toxicological Sciences and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences. He received a D.V.M. from Colorado State University. He completed a combined Ph.D. and veterinary toxicology residency program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and is a diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Toxicology and the American Board of Toxicology.
Scott Bartell
Scott Bartell is Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health and Statistics and Associate Director for Faculty Affairs in the Program in Public Health at the University of California, Irvine. His research interest is environmental-health methodology, with applications in environmental epidemiology, exposure science, and risk assessment. Since 2006, much of his research has focused on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), including linkage of fate and transport models and a pharmacokinetic model for exposure reconstruction and epidemiological analyses in the C8 Studies, development of Bayesian statistical methods for biomarker-based pharmacokinetic calibration in exposure reconstruction, and assessment of the potential impacts of exposure measurement error on previous epidemiological findings for PFAS. Dr. Bartell currently serves as Principal Investigator for the UCI PFAS Health Study, the California site in the CDC/ATSDR Multi-Site PFAS Study. Dr. Bartell earned his B.A. in Environmental Science from the University of California, Berkeley, his M.S. in Environmental Health from the University of Washington, and his M.S. in Statistics and Ph.D. in Epidemiology from the University of California, Davis.
Richard A. Becker
Richard Becker, a Senior Toxicologist at the American Chemistry Council, directs ACC’s Long-Range Research Initiative, an innovative research program designed to modernize and improve chemical safety assessments. His work at ACC over the last 21 years has focused on emerging health risk science issues including advanced molecular screening methods in toxicity evaluation and risk assessment, human biomonitoring, sensitive subpopulations, endocrine screening and testing, and alternative test methods. He was a toxicology study director at SRI International (1985-1987), and then served as a senior scientist with the State of California from 1987 to 1999. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology, and received the Arnold Lehman Award from the Society of Toxicology (SOT) in 2015 in recognition of his contributions to the field of risk assessment and the regulation of chemicals. Dr. Becker served on the National Academies’ Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology and was a member of the Committee on Acute Exposure Guidelines for Chloroformate. He’s currently a member of EPA’s Board of Scientific Counselors and Health Canada’s CMP Science Committee Dr. Becker received his Ph.D. in pharmacology and toxicology from the University of California Irvine. He also received post-doctoral training at the University of Toronto and the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
Alan Ducatman
Alan Ducatman is Professor Emeritus at the West Virginia University School of Public Health. He was also the chair of the WVU Department of Community Medicine, and director of WVU’s Occupational Medicine residency program. Dr. Ducatman’s research interests include occupational and environmental toxicity and prevention of diseases potentially related to environmental exposures. His current environmental research focuses on the human population aspects of PFAS exposure. As a practicing physician, he developed and conducted medical surveillance programs and conducted clinical referral evaluation of patients with known or suspected environmental exposure. He has also served as Chair of the Board of Scientific Counselors for the National Environmental Health Center of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Dr. Ducatman received a M.Sc. in Environmental Health from the City University of New York, and an M.D. from Wayne State University. He completed his residency training at Brown University and at the Mayo Clinic, and is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Occupational Medicine.
Herman Gibb
Herman Gibb is president of Gibb Epidemiology Consulting, LLC, in Arlington, Virginia. Prior to forming Gibb Epidemiology Consulting, he was president of Tetra Tech Sciences where he consulted to a variety of government, private, and international clients. Before joining Tetra Tech in 2004, Dr. Gibb had a career at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) where he participated in the epidemiologic assessment of a variety of substances and was the primary author of an influential study on the risk of lung cancer among chromium production workers. He was a member of the Carcinogen Assessment Group—the beginning of EPA’s approach to carcinogen risk assessment and is the recipient of numerous EPA awards, including the Gold Medal for his work on the risk assessment of arsenic. He is an author of World Health Organization’s (WHO) Principles for the Assessment of Risks to Human Health from Exposure to Chemicals. In 2011, Dr. Gibb was awarded the Practitioner of the Year award by the Society for Risk Analysis. He served as chair of a WHO task force on the burden of disease from chemicals in food (2007-2015). Dr. Gibb previously served on the National Academies’ Committee on Potential Human Health Effects of Surface Coal Mining Operations in Central Appalachia and the Committee on Gulf War and Health. Dr. Gibb is a Lieutenant Colonel (ret.) in the U.S. Army Reserves. Dr. Gibb holds a B.S. in pre-medical studies from the Pennsylvania State University, a M.P.H. in environmental health from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Ph.D. in epidemiology from Johns Hopkins University.
Kurunthachalam Kannan
Kurunthachalam Kannan is Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the New York University Grossman School of Medicine. Previously, he served as the deputy director of the Division of Environmental Health Sciences at Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health. Dr. Kannan’s research interests are in understanding sources, pathways and distribution of persistent organic pollutants in the environment. Recent research is focused on human biomonitoring and exposure assessment. He is known for his work on the discovery of perfluorochemicals in the global environment. Dr. Kannan has received several awards and honors through his career, including the Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry’s Weston F. Roy Environmental Chemistry award. He has published over 650 research articles in peer-reviewed journals, and served as the editor-in-chief of Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in India and his Ph.D. from Ehime University in Japan.
Gloria Post
Gloria Post is a Research Scientist in the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s (NJDEP’s) Division of Science and Research. Since 2006, she has been a member of the New Jersey Drinking Water Quality Institute, an advisory body established by New Jersey law to recommend drinking water standards to NJDEP. Dr. Post has contributed to the human health basis of drinking water standards for many well-known drinking water contaminants including volatile organics, methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), arsenic, radon, perchlorate, 1,2,3-trichloropropane, and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Dr. Post has focused on the evaluation of PFAS in drinking water for over 15 years, and she was a major contributor to the human health risk assessments used as the basis for New Jersey’s drinking water Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) for perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS). In 2010, she was the first recipient of the NJDEP Gail P. Carter Memorial Award for a major contribution to environmental science and/or use of scientific expertise to improve New Jersey’s environment, and she received this award again in 2014. In 2014, she received the New Jersey Section of the American Water Works Association annual award for ongoing contributions to drinking water research, and in 2020, she received the New Jersey State Public Service Recognition Award for the Governor’s Team of Excellence for commitment to public service by leading by example and helping to make New Jersey a fairer and stronger place to live and work. She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology. Dr. Post holds an A.B. with honors in biochemical sciences from Princeton University, a Ph.D. in pharmacology from Thomas Jefferson University, and she did post-doctoral research at Duke University.
Laurel Schaider
Laurel Schaider is a research scientist at Silent Spring Institute, where she leads the Institute’s Cape Cod water quality research on PFAS and other contaminants of emerging concern. Her areas of expertise include environmental chemistry, environmental engineering, exposure assessment, and community-engaged research. She is a leader in characterizing sources and exposures related to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), pharmaceuticals, and other unregulated drinking water contaminants. Her current research focuses on: PFAS in drinking water and consumer products; septic systems as sources of unregulated drinking water contaminants; and disparities in drinking water quality in relation to socioeconomic status of communities across the United States. She is the lead investigator of PFAS-REACH (Research, Education, and Action for Community Health) and lead investigator for one of seven projects in the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) PFAS Multi-Site Health Study. She also co-leads the Community Engagement Core for the University of Rhode Island STEEP (Sources, Transport, Exposure and Effects of PFASs) Superfund Research Program. She is a technical advisor to ATSDR’s Community Assistance Panel at the Pease Tradeport, a site of PFAS drinking water contamination. Before joining Silent Spring, she was a research associate at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, where she studied heavy metal contamination at an abandoned mining site in rural Oklahoma and led a community-based participatory research project on mercury exposure among rural Oklahoma anglers, including members of local Native American tribes. Dr. Schaider earned her B.S. in environmental engineering science from MIT, and her M.S. and Ph.D. in environmental engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.
Elsie Sunderland
Elsie Sunderland is an Environmental Chemist and the Gordon McKay Professor of Environmental Chemistry at Harvard University with expertise in the fate and transport of contaminants, human exposure modeling, and risk analysis. She holds faculty appointments in the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. She is a faculty associate in the Harvard University Center for the Environment and the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis. Her research group focuses on how releases of persistent environmental contaminants are transformed by the physical environment and biological processes and how this affects human exposures and risk of adverse health outcomes. Before joining the faculty at Harvard, she spent 5 years working to inform environmental policy decisions with best-available science at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in various offices. Her work at EPA included regulatory impact assessments and development of guidance on how best to use environmental models to inform regulatory decisions. Her recent work has focused on characterizing diverse exposure sources for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), including drinking water and seafood, and developing chemometric indicators for source attribution. Her group has developed and applied physiologically based toxicokinetic models for a variety of pollutants to interpret exposure data and evaluate the importance of different sources for diverse human populations. She is a project leader for a NIH funded Superfund Center on Sources, Transport, Exposure, and Effects of PFASs led by the University of Rhode Island. Dr. Sunderland has received EPA’s Highest Level Scientific and Technological Achievement Award, the EPA Gold Medal for Exceptional Service, the Smith Family Foundation Award for Excellence in Biomedical Research, and the Harvard Star Family Award for promising scientific research. Dr. Sunderland received her Ph.D. in environmental toxicology from Simon Fraser University.
Thomas F. Webster
Thomas F. Webster is Professor in the Department of Environmental Health at Boston University School of Public Health. Dr. Webster’s current main research area is in the health effects of exposure to mixtures. He and his collaborators examine this problem via development and application methods in epidemiology, toxicology, exposure science, statistics and mathematical modeling. A second major research area concerns exposure routes and health effects of perfluoroalkyl substances and semivolatile organic compounds such as flame retardants and plasticizers. Dr. Webster served on the National Academies Committee on Fluoride in Drinking Water and the Committee on Making Best Use of the Agent Orange Exposure Reconstruction Model. Dr. Webster received his B.S. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his Sc.D. from Boston University School of Public Health.
Stephanie E. Johnson - (Staff Officer)


Event Type :  

Description :   

Public Virtual Workshop


Watch the Live Webcast

(Available on October 26 and 27)

Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are diverse fluorinated organic compounds used to make products that resist heat, stains, oil, and water. They are used in firefighting foams; a wide variety of consumer products, such as packaging, carpeting, and cookware; and in industries such as aerospace, automotive, and electronics. Their manufacture and use have led to widespread distribution and occurrence in the environment. PFAS can be highly mobile and persistent in the environment, and depending on chemical structure, PFAS can accumulate at different levels in human, animal, and plant tissue. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will be conducting a workshop to review federal government human health research on PFAS and to identify research and data gaps.

This 2-day virtual workshop, October 26 (10:30 AM to 5:00 PM) and October 27 (10:30 AM to 4:30 PM), will address the state of the science and ongoing federal research regarding:

  • Human exposure to PFAS,
  • Experimental toxicology studies to identify human risks from PFAS,
  • Human health outcomes from PFAS exposures, and
  • Cross cutting issues, such as mixtures and class-based approaches.



Registration for Online Attendance :   

Registration for in Person Attendance :   

If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Cesar Raymund Segovia
Contact Email:
Contact Phone:  -

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Publication(s) resulting from the event:




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