Please join the Payne Institute for Public Policy at the Colorado School of Mines as we welcome Faculty Fellow Dr. Christopher Higgins, Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, presenting a hybrid seminar titled Forever Chemicals in our Water? The Growing Importance of Poly- and Perfluoroalkyl Substances in Environmental Contaminants on Thursday, September 22, 2022 from 9:00am – 10:00am (MT).
Growing concerns about human exposure to perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), two members of the broad family of poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), have led to significant interest in characterization and treatment of sites contaminated with PFASs, particularly those derived from aqueous film-forming foams (AFFFs). Many challenges exist related to PFASs due to their unique properties and their resultant behavior in the environment. Significant challenges are also evident for developing treatment and remediation technologies, mainly due to both the recalcitrance of the perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) and the complexity of their polyfluorinated chemical precursors. Finally, the complexity of the routes of human exposure to PFASs ensure that PFASs are likely to be a dominant environmental and public health challenge for years to come. In this overview, these challenges will be discussed in the context of characterizing PFAS-impacted sites and evaluating potential for human exposure to PFASs.
Dr. Christopher P. Higgins is an environmental chemist and a University Distinguished Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines. His research focuses on the movement of contaminants in the environment. In particular, he studies chemical behavior in natural and engineered systems, with a focus on poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs). Dr. Higgins has authored more than 120 peer-reviewed publications. His research has been supported by NSF, NIH, EPA, USDA, and the DoD.