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Bachelor of Science (BS) in Chemistry Master of Science (MS) in Environmental Engineering Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Soil Chemistry/Contaminant Hydrology

September 17, 2020, 03:30 PM

PFAS Characteristics and Challenges in Waste Management and Clean Potable Waters

A talk by Linda Lee
Professor, Department of Agronomy, Purdue University

Per/polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have been widely used in commercial and industrial products. PFAS sources leading to water contamination range from fire-fighting activities, industrial spills and dumping, leaky landfills, wastewater effluent discharge, treated effluent irrigation, land-applied biosolids and storm runoff. PFAS occurrence in groundwater, surface water, and potable waters has prompted state and federal agencies to re-examine PFAS risk assessments and establish aggressive health advisory levels.

Concerns of PFAS contributions from land-applied biosolids is leading some states to limit the land-application of biosolids to only those meeting a set of PFAS screening levels and others to consider completely banning the practice. Composting and heat treatment does not reduce PFAS loads in biosolids. Irrigation with treated effluent is also leading to PFAS loads in soils. Key PFAS characteristics followed by occurrence in biosolids-based and municipal compost-based fertilizers will be presented along with challenges in PFAS water treatment, waste management, and analysis.


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