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Science Advisory Workgroup

Science Advisory Workgroup

Science Advisory Workgroup

The Science Advisory Workgroup's duties were completed on June 27, 2019.

On June 27, 2019, MPART received health-based values from the Science Advisory Workgroup that will be used by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) to develop regulatory drinking water standards for PFAS by April 2020, as directed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

On April 11, 2019, MPART named the three environmental and health experts who will be on the Science Advisory Workgroup to review existing and proposed health-based drinking water standards from around the nation for PFAS.

“[EGLE] is committed to delivering on the Governor’s call for action on PFAS MCLs this year,” said MPART executive director Steve Sliver. “These independent experts will help guide us in our shared mission of ensuring safer drinking water for all Michiganders.”

The Workgroup includes three scientists with expertise in PFAS chemicals and their impact on human health. The experts in toxicology, epidemiology and risk assessment are:

At the April 4, 2019, MPART meeting the members voted in the affirmative to create the Science Advisory Workgroup. In addition, the members voted to have the MPART Chair select individuals for the Science Advisory Workgroup.

On March 26, 2019, Governor Gretchen Whitmer directed the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART) to form a Science Advisory Workgroup to review both existing and proposed health-based drinking water standards from around the nation to inform the rulemaking process for appropriate Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCL) for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) for Michigan by no later than July 1, 2019. 

Members of the Science Advisory Workgroup

The Workgroup includes three scientists with expertise in PFAS chemicals and their impact on human health. The experts in toxicology, epidemiology and risk assessment are:
A glass of drinking water, with a teal overlay

Kevin Cox

Kevin Cox is a Managing Toxicologist at NSF International.  Prior to his current role, Mr. Cox was a Supervising Toxicologist supporting NSF’s drinking water additives and dietary supplement certification programs.  As an expert in human health risk assessment, Mr. Cox has authored numerous chemical risk assessments evaluating exposure from unregulated drinking water contaminants, dietary supplement ingredients, toy product materials, and pool and spa treatment chemicals. Specific to PFAS chemicals, Mr. Cox has conducted a state-of-the-science analysis of published PFAS risk assessments in support of NSF International drinking water programs. This analysis was recently presented to Michigan water management professionals. Mr. Cox received his B.S. in biochemistry and history from the University of Michigan and his MPH in Environmental Health Sciences - Toxicology from the University of Michigan School of Public Health. He is currently an Associate Member of the Society of Toxicology. Mr. Cox also holds a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School and is a member of the Michigan Bar Association.

A medical model of the human body, with a teal overlay

Dr. Jamie DeWitt

Dr. Jamie DeWitt is an associate professor in the Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology of the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University. Her laboratory’s research program explores relationships between biological organisms and their responses after exposure to environmental contaminants, with a specific focus on the immune system and its interactions with the nervous system during development and adulthood. The research program particularly focuses on emerging aquatic contaminants, especially per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). With respect to PFAS, DeWitt has published 13 primary research articles, six review articles, two book chapters, and edited a book on PFAS toxicity. She has served as an external reviewer for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) health effects assessment of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), the U.S. National Toxicology Program’s immune effects assessment of PFOA and PFOS, the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry toxicological profile for PFASs, and was a member of the International Agency for Research on Cancer working group for the assessment of the carcinogenicity of PFOA. Her laboratory currently assesses the immunotoxicity of emerging PFAS that have been designed to replace those that have been phased out of production and that are of concern in North Carolina. She double-majored in environmental science and biology for her bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and has doctoral degrees in environmental science and neural science from Indiana University-Bloomington. She completed postdoctoral training in ecotoxicology at Indiana University-Bloomington and in immunotoxicology at the EPA in partnership with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

A setup of PFAS testing equipment, with a teal overlay

Dr. David Savitz

Dr. David Savitz, who chairs the advisory workgroup, is a professor of epidemiology in the School of Public Health at Brown University. He also serves as associate dean for research, and holds joint appointments in obstetrics and gynecology, and pediatrics in the Alpert Medical School. His epidemiological research has addressed a wide range of public health issues including environmental hazards in the workplace and community, reproductive health outcomes, and environmental influences on cancer. He has done extensive work on health effects of nonionizing radiation, pesticides, drinking water treatment by-products, and perfluorinated compounds. He is the author of nearly 350 papers in professional journals and editor or author of three books. He was president of the Society for Epidemiologic Research and the Society for Pediatric and Perinatal Epidemiologic Research, and North American regional councilor for the International Epidemiological Association. Savitz is a member of the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine. From 2013-2017 he served as vice president for research at Brown University. He was a member of the C8 Science Panel that conducted some of the first epidemiologic research on PFAS in the mid-Ohio Valley and has published a number of reports related to potential health effects of PFAS. He recently chaired the Science Panel to advise MPART on the current research related to toxicology, epidemiology, exposure pathways, and remediation of PFAS.