Mount Sinai Health System

Exploring the PFAS Exposome in US East Coast Environments and Wildlife, Anna Ruth Robuck Ph.D.

Anna Ruth Robuck, PhD, ORISE Postdoctoral Fellow, US EPA, incoming postdoc at MSSM.


Title: Exploring the PFAS Exposome in US East Coast Environments and Wildlife


Abstract: Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a family of industrial chemicals widely used in consumer, industrial, and military applications. Some of the well-studied legacy PFAS like perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) have been linked to adverse health outcomes in humans and wildlife. However, new PFAS formulations have continued to be introduced in the US and abroad, and only a very limited number have been studied. To date, over 9,000 PFAS species have been identified and novel PFAS discovered in biological and abiotic matrices continue to add to this estimate. Little or no information describes the distribution, effects, or fate of these understudied or unknown PFAS, which are thought to make up the bulk of the PFAS exposome.


This talk will summarize a body of work investigating the PFAS exposome in environmental matrices along the US East Coast. River water, ocean water, and wildlife tissues were subject to tandem mass spectrometry and high-resolution mass spectrometry techniques to assess legacy, novel, and previously unidentified PFAS in water, seabirds, fish, whales, and other environmental matrices from Massachusetts Bay and the Delaware River. Key findings include the detection of legacy and novel PFAS in new environments and biological receptors, the first discovery of an association between PFAS and lipidomic responses in wildlife, the first discovery of novel perfluoroalkyl ether acids (PFEAs) in brain tissue, and the discovery of several previously unidentified PFAS in water and fish tissue from the Delaware River.


Time: Apr 8, 2021 12:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)


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Thursday, April 8 at 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Virtual Event