EPA Technical Challenge Seeks Innovative Ways to Destroy PFAS
On August 25, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler launched an innovation challenge to identify solutions to destroy PFAS. The Innovative Ways to Destroy PFAS Challenge is a partnership between federal and state agencies seeking detailed plans for non-thermal technologies to destroy PFAS in concentrated aqueous film forming foam (AFFF), used in firefighting. This challenge is part of implementing the PFAS Action Plan, a comprehensive cross-agency plan to address PFAS as an emerging chemical of concern. “EPA researchers and staff are harnessing the power of crowdsourcing to identify ways to destroy PFAS through non-incineration methods,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. To address the need for new non-thermal technologies that destroy PFAS without generating hazardous byproducts, EPA is offering up to $50,000 for the best design concept(s), with the added potential opportunity for field testing of the winning design concept(s) in partnership with EPA and ESTCP. Challenge details can be found at: https://www.epa.gov/innovation/innovative-ways-destroy-pfas-challenge. The challenge opens today and closes on November 23, 2020. Winners are expected to be announced in early 2021.

CDC Multi-Site PFAS Health Study

The CDC and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) received approval from the Office of Management and Budget for the Multi-site Health Study protocol. The goal of the study is to learn more about the relationship between PFAS exposure and health outcomes among differing populations, and will compare levels of PFAS exposure from different sites and corresponding health outcomes. The project will provide better scientific understanding about the relationships between PFAS exposure and certain health outcomes to help people understand their risk for health effects. Information from the health study can be applied to communities across the nation.
Seven study partners will conduct the Multi-site Health Study in locations across the United States, including:
•     El Paso County, Colorado
•     Parchment/Cooper Township, MI, and Belmont/Rockford area, Michigan
•     Montgomery and Bucks Counties, Pennsylvania
•     Gloucester County, New Jersey
•     Hyannis, MA, and Ayer, Massachusetts
•     Hoosick Falls, NY, and Newburgh, New York
•     Communities near the UC Irvine Medical Center, California
Study recruitment may begin at some sites within the next few months.
More information on the study is available on CDC/ATSDR’s PFAS website.