To Eat, or not to Eat? The Guts of PFAS Related Fish Advisories

November 16, 2022

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are persistent pollutants that are detected globally in environmental media (air, water, soil), wildlife, and humans. Certain PFAS are bioaccumulative which results in exposures through food, especially the consumption of fish and aquatic organisms. This has driven several regulatory entities to develop PFAS-related fishing advisories to protect human health. However, the thresholds for these advisories span over 3 orders of magnitude and vary across North America. Some differences can be explained by regulatory policies, the quality and availability of PFAS analytical chemistry, and the selection risk assessment methodologies. This session will bring environmental chemists, toxicologists, and epidemiologists together to understand how the evolving science of PFAS impacts fish consumption advisories, as well as explore cutting-edge research for better informing risk assessment. This platform invites research from four key areas critical to fishing advisories. The first area is exposure epidemiology related to fish consumption, especially research quantifying exposure levels, relating exposure to human health outcomes, consideration of vulnerable populations, and characterizing the uncertainty of risks. The second area is analytical methods and challenges for quantifying PFAS in tissues, such as detection limits, data reproducibility, and addressing interferences. Complexity introduced by confounding factors such as PFAS pre-cursors or how to address PFAS mixtures may also fall into this category. The third area is study designs that characterize the extent of PFAS contamination in harvested aquatic species. This would include studies that evaluate the role of bioaccumulation or biomagnification into harvested species. The final area of focus includes how regulatory policy directly and indirectly impacts studies and study designs as they relate to assessing the need for establishing fish advisories due to exposure to PFAS. Presentations on any of these areas in the context of fish consumption advisories are relevant and invited.


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