PFAS Research Initiative
PFAS is the short name of a large class of harmful, fluorinated synthetic chemicals that have recently been found at high levels in the environment. They have been widely used in common items such as non-stick pans, fire fighting foams, water/stain repellent fabric, and food packaging. In addition to their widespread use, they are virtually indestructible by natural or engineered means and are present in the bodies of almost everyone. Traditional management methods used to destroy conventional pollutants don’t work for PFAS, and, human exposure to PFAS has multiple pathways that are different from other, better understood pollutants. Creative solutions are needed to address this dire environmental and human health crisis.
To understand the extent and characteristics of PFAS pollution in Maine, develop safe and sustainable ways to reduce PFAS exposure, and communicate the rapidly developing knowledge base with the concerned public.