September 9, 2020, noon CDT
During this webinar, Drs. Phillipe Grandjean and Gina Waterfield will provide some background and present their findings on a newly published study utilizing population data from a community in Minnesota, which demonstrated the reproductive impact of PFAS-contaminated water and the positive changes in reproductive outcomes after implementing drinking water filtration. The PFASs in human exposures share several adverse properties. Their persistence and mobility results in passage across the placenta into the circulation, and they are also excreted into human milk, thereby prolonging the duration of the next generation’s elevated exposure. Common PFASs are known to be endocrine disruptors and immunotoxicants, and the early-life exposures therefore lead to developmental effects that may be lasting.
Given the increasing evidence on the health impacts of PFASs, their detection in drinking water supplies around the world has spurred intense regulatory debate and municipal action. In the east Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area of Minnesota, a portion of the population faced elevated exposure to PFASs due to long-term contamination of drinking water supplies from industrial waste disposal. Installation of a water filtration facility in the highly contaminated city of Oakdale at the end of 2006 resulted in a sharp decrease in exposure to PFASs, creating a “natural experiment.” Dr. Waterfield, Dr. Grandjean, and other co-investigators compared the changes in birth outcomes before and after water filtration in Oakdale to the changes over the same period in neighboring communities where the treatment of municipal water remained constant, providing evidence of a causal relationship between filtration of drinking water containing high levels of PFASs and improved reproductive outcomes.