Michigan selects Scientific Advisory Panel to gather national input on emerging PFAS contaminants

Thursday, March 29, 2018

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART) has brought together six scientists from across Michigan and the U.S. to assess data on potential PFAS contamination to further protect public health and the environment.

The panelists were selected based on their expertise in the areas of epidemiology, toxicology, water quality, biochemistry and molecular biology.

The Scientific Advisory Panel will be chaired by Dr. David Savitz from Brown University, who is already Michigan’s chief scientific consultant to MPART.

“The science surrounding potential health effects from these contaminants is evolving rapidly, and we need to ensure we’re taking action based on the latest possible discoveries and scientific reviews,” said Carol Isaacs, director of MPART. “This is a nationally emerging contaminant that most states don’t know how to handle, if they’ve even tried to address it all. Michigan has established itself as a model for how to deal with this contamination caused by production and firefighting practices from decades ago. Seating this panel affirms Michigan’s place as a national leader in this arena.”

Other panelists will include:

  • Dr. Scott Bartell, Risk Assessment, Epidemiology and Toxicology, University of California, Irvine
  • Dr. Christopher Lau, Senior Researcher and Toxicologist, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Dr. Susan Masten, Water Quality Treatment Engineer, Michigan State University
  • Dr. Dan Jones, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Mass Spectrometry, Michigan State University
  • Dr. Jennifer Field, Environmental and Molecular Ecology, Oregon State University

The panelists are all volunteers. They have agreed to objectively assess the scientific information surrounding the issue of health advisory levels, health outcomes, remediation and mitigation, and environmental pathways. Their work will focus on all chemicals in the PFAS family, including the PFOS and PFOA chemicals currently being dealt with in Michigan.

The use of these chemicals that have been of greatest environmental and health concern is declining while research on addressing the contaminants is evolving. Internationally, PFAS chemicals have been identified in a variety of locations. In Michigan, there are sites across the state where products that used PFAS were disposed of improperly or locations where PFAS was used for applications that were not known at the time to be a public health risk.

For more information on MPART and the state’s response to PFAS contamination, visit www.michigan.gov/pfasresponse.

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Editor’s note: Full bios on the panel members are available here.



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