CDC, ATSDR to Fund PFAS Studies

The agencies are soliciting research applications to conduct a multi-site study on the human health effects of exposures to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) through drinking water.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) announced they are soliciting research applications to conduct a multi-site study on the human health effects of exposures to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) through drinking water. The proposed study sites must include communities that have current or past presence of PFAS in drinking water. ATSDR expects to establish cooperative agreements with up to six recipients, with awards ranging from $500,000 to $3 million per recipient.

Applications must be submitted electronically no later than 5 p.m. EDT on May 30.

"This study will address the need for additional research on the health effects of exposure to PFAS in drinking water," said Patrick Breysse, Ph.D., director of CDC's National Center for Environmental Health and administrator of ATSDR.

The study researchers will work to recruit at least 2,000 children (ages 4-17) and 6,000 adults (ages 18 and older) from communities who have been exposed to PFAS-contaminated drinking water. The study is designed to gather information about the relationship between PFAS exposure and health outcomes that can be applied to exposed communities nationwide. The findings will allow communities and governmental agencies to make science-based decisions about how to protect public health and will help prepare people to discuss exposures with their health care providers and take steps to monitor their health, as needed.

The two agencies reported that possible candidate sites include, but are not limited to, communities whose drinking water has been or is contaminated by use of aqueous film forming foam used at civilian and military sites or by industrial PFAS emissions. The site selection process will consider the PFAS drinking water concentrations at the candidate sites; the duration of exposure; and the number of exposed people. The aim is to select sites with residents who have a wide range of PFAS exposure levels so researchers can identify health effects at different levels of exposure. The study will examine associations between PFAS compounds and lipids, renal function and kidney disease, thyroid hormones and disease, liver function and disease, glycemic parameters and diabetes, as well as immune response and function in children and adults.

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