Strategies for grouping PFAS for chemical assessment

Abstract from Professor Cousins

In April 2020, my colleagues and I published a paper outlining grouping strategies for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that could be applied in chemical assessment. Many academic and regulatory scientists believe that grouping strategies are needed to make the task of assessing the many thousands of PFAS on the global market more manageable. Industry scientists, however, tend on the whole to oppose any grouping strategies for PFAS and favour instead a chemical-by-chemical assessment approach based on risk assessment. In this talk, I provided an update on the work presented in our 2020 paper with more approaches presented for grouping PFAS for risk assessment. I also reviewed grouping strategies based on the intrinsic properties of the PFAS (e.g. persistence, bioaccumulation potential, toxicity, and mobility). The pros and cons of the various grouping approaches presented were discussed.

Brief Bio

Professor Cousins is an environmental organic chemist and has worked at the Department of Environmental Science at Stockholm University since 2002. His research comprises a combination of experimental and modelling approaches to investigate the sources, transport, fate and exposure of contaminants. For the last 20 years, he has conducted research on PFAS and works closely with analytical chemists in his department to better understand the environmental behaviour of these contaminants. Prof. Cousins has published more than 170 peer-reviewed articles and 8 book chapters.