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Environmental Contaminants of Emerging Public Health Concern: PFAS

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Toxicology and Public Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2023) | Viewed by 16236

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409, USA
Interests: control theory and the development and analysis of mathematical and statistical models in agriculture, the environment and medicine

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Guest Editor
Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University, Washington, DC 20052, USA
Interests: endocrine disruption; developmental toxicology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

While PFAS chemicals have long been in use, our understanding of the mechanisms by which they adversely affect biological systems and the endpoints they alter need elucidation so that risks posed to human and environmental targets can be understood. PFAS present challenges to public health by the sheer number of chemical forms, molecular targets, adverse outcome pathways, and potential developmental or homeostatic impacts. PFAS have now been detected worldwide, including in some of the most pristine environments on Earth and in large percentages of human blood samples from broad populational surveys. Expanding scientific understanding of the molecular targets, adverse outcome pathways, and endpoints would aid in strategies for both PFAS-related regulatory and translational science and in predictive toxicology efforts. In these perspectives, collecting evidence om nuclear receptor interactions, biomolecular cascades, and endpoints detrimental to individual or community health will help to shed light on the challenges presented by these “forever” chemicals.

In this Research Topic, we welcome submissions of original research, review, and mini-review articles focused on but not limited to the following topics:

  1. Interaction of PFAS with nuclear receptors or other direct molecular interactions;
  2. Initiation by PFAS of singular or multiple adverse outcomes pathways;
  3. Developmental endpoints;
  4. Relationships between PFAS and chronic disease;
  5. Regulatory, policy, mitigation, and clean-up challenges;
  6. Occurrences in novel environments.

Prof. Dr. Clyde F. Martin
Dr. Andrea Kirk
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • AOP (adverse outcomes pathways)
  • PFAS (polyfluoroalkyl substance)
  • epidemiology
  • nuclear receptors
  • obesity
  • immune response
  • metabolic syndrome
  • bone
  • kidney
  • endocrine
  • thyroid
  • environmental exposure
  • development

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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14 pages, 9260 KiB  
Article
Presence of Perfluoroalkyl Substances in Landfill Adjacent Surface Waters in North Carolina
by Aleah Walsh and Courtney G. Woods
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(15), 6524; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20156524 - 4 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1719
Abstract
Landfills pose an important public health risk, especially in historically disenfranchised communities that are disproportionately sited for landfills and in rural areas where private wells may be impacted. Landfills are major sources of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that migrate into the surrounding environment. This [...] Read more.
Landfills pose an important public health risk, especially in historically disenfranchised communities that are disproportionately sited for landfills and in rural areas where private wells may be impacted. Landfills are major sources of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that migrate into the surrounding environment. This study characterized PFAS in surface waters adjacent to two landfills, one in Sampson County (SC) and one in Orange County (OC) in North Carolina. In addition to municipal solid waste and construction and demolition waste, the landfill in SC accepts industrial sludge from a chemical plant that produces proprietary PFAS. Over four months, 35 surface water samples were collected at upstream, landfill-adjacent, and downstream/downgradient sites. Thirty-four PFAS were analyzed using liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectroscopy. Of those, six novel and six legacy PFAS were detected. Legacy PFAS were detected in surface water near both landfills, with the highest concentrations adjacent to the landfill. Novel PFAS were only detected in surface water near the SC landfill and showed the highest concentrations adjacent to the landfill, indicating offsite migration of PFAS. These findings support the need for more comprehensive and frequent monitoring of groundwater and surface water wells near landfills and stricter regulation regarding the landfilling of industrial materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Contaminants of Emerging Public Health Concern: PFAS)
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19 pages, 410 KiB  
Article
A New Interpretation of Relative Importance on an Analysis of Per and Polyfluorinated Alkyl Substances (PFAS) Exposures on Bone Mineral Density
by Andrea B. Kirk, Alisa DeStefano, Alexander Martin, Karli C. Kirk and Clyde F. Martin
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(5), 4539; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20054539 - 3 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1936
Abstract
Background: The relative contribution of environmental contaminants is an important, and frequently unanswered, question in human or ecological risk assessments. This interpretation of relative importance allows determination of the overall effect of a set of variables relative to other variables on an adverse [...] Read more.
Background: The relative contribution of environmental contaminants is an important, and frequently unanswered, question in human or ecological risk assessments. This interpretation of relative importance allows determination of the overall effect of a set of variables relative to other variables on an adverse health outcome. There are no underlying assumptions of independence of variables. The tool developed and used here is specifically designed for studying the effects of mixtures of chemicals on a particular function of the human body. Methods: We apply the approach to estimate the contributions of total exposure to six PFAS (perfluorodecanoic acid, perfluorohexane sulfonic acid, 2-(N-methyl-PFOSA) acetate, perfluorononanoic acid, perfluoroundecanoic acid and perfluoroundecanoic acid) to loss of bone mineral density relative to other factors related to risk of osteoporosis and bone fracture, using data from subjects who participated in the US National Health Examination and Nutrition Surveys (NHANES) of 2013–2014. Results: PFAS exposures contribute to bone mineral density changes relative to the following variables: age, weight, height, vitamin D2 and D3, gender, race, sex hormone binding globulin, testosterone, and estradiol. Conclusion: We note significant alterations to bone mineral density among more highly exposed adults and significant differences in effects between men and women. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Contaminants of Emerging Public Health Concern: PFAS)

Review

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20 pages, 1375 KiB  
Review
Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) in Integrated Crop–Livestock Systems: Environmental Exposure and Human Health Risks
by Gaurav Jha, Vanaja Kankarla, Everald McLennon, Suman Pal, Debjani Sihi, Biswanath Dari, Dawson Diaz and Mallika Nocco
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(23), 12550; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182312550 - 28 Nov 2021
Cited by 44 | Viewed by 11448
Abstract
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are highly persistent synthetic organic contaminants that can cause serious human health concerns such as obesity, liver damage, kidney cancer, hypertension, immunotoxicity and other human health issues. Integrated crop–livestock systems combine agricultural crop production with milk and/or meat [...] Read more.
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are highly persistent synthetic organic contaminants that can cause serious human health concerns such as obesity, liver damage, kidney cancer, hypertension, immunotoxicity and other human health issues. Integrated crop–livestock systems combine agricultural crop production with milk and/or meat production and processing. Key sources of PFAS in these systems include firefighting foams near military bases, wastewater sludge and industrial discharge. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances regularly move from soils to nearby surface water and/or groundwater because of their high mobility and persistence. Irrigating crops or managing livestock for milk and meat production using adjacent waters can be detrimental to human health. The presence of PFAS in both groundwater and milk have been reported in dairy production states (e.g., Wisconsin and New Mexico) across the United States. Although there is a limit of 70 parts per trillion of PFAS in drinking water by the U.S. EPA, there are not yet regional screening guidelines for conducting risk assessments of livestock watering as well as the soil and plant matrix. This systematic review includes (i) the sources, impacts and challenges of PFAS in integrated crop–livestock systems, (ii) safety measures and protocols for sampling soil, water and plants for determining PFAS concentration in exposed integrated crop–livestock systems and (iii) the assessment, measurement and evaluation of human health risks related to PFAS exposure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Contaminants of Emerging Public Health Concern: PFAS)
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