RECETOX Seminar Series: John P. Giesy (University of Saskatchewan, CA)

TOXICOLOGICAL EVALUATION OF PERFLUOROOCTANE (PFOS) IN THE ENVIRONMENT: ANATOMY OF AN ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUE

Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) has been found in tissues of humans and wildlife species in many parts of the world. Because of its low vapor pressure and the fact that it was used in polymers that were thought to be inert it was not expected to move in the environment or be accumulated into animals. Furthermore, accurate and sensitive analytical methods were unavailable until they were developed by my group. For these reasons. little information on the environmental fate of PFOS was available.

In this lecture, prof. Giesy will present the story of how he discovered this chemical in the environment, and then conducted a global survey and worked out the mechanism of action and thresholds for toxicity. He will provide chemical-physical properties of PFOS and discuss how it is different from more traditionally studied neutral, di-aromatic halogenated compounds, and discuss the reasons for why this global catastrophe occurred through a failure to understand the chemistry and toxicology of a whole class of chemicals.

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