Presenter Information

Lamija MemidzanFollow

Major

Environmental Science

Anticipated Graduation Year

2021

Access Type

Open Access

Abstract

PFAS compounds have been a significant environmental threat since their introduction in the early 1930s--with their human health effects being equally severe and detrimental. Initially, short-chain PFAS were primarily used until companies switched over to short-chain versions due to its shorter half-life in human metabolisms. Short-chain PFAS were thought to be less persistent and less harmful; however, recent research suggests that short-chain PFAS compounds spontaneously form longer chain compounds upon release to the environment. It is however equally as persistent as the previous long-chain version. Many compostable materials are coated in short-chain PFAS yet are advertised as environmentally safe and degradable, though recent research suggests significant uptake in the edible parts of cruciferous plants grown in soil amended with compost containing residue from these containers. Additionally, cruciferous plants were proven to absorb short-chain PFAS more readily compared to other plants. This experiment tests whether PFAS compounds transfer from soil into the kale and where in the kale it compartmentalizes.

Faculty Mentors & Instructors

Sasha Adkins, Lecturer, School of Environmental Science

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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PFAS Uptake in Kale from Compostable Material

PFAS compounds have been a significant environmental threat since their introduction in the early 1930s--with their human health effects being equally severe and detrimental. Initially, short-chain PFAS were primarily used until companies switched over to short-chain versions due to its shorter half-life in human metabolisms. Short-chain PFAS were thought to be less persistent and less harmful; however, recent research suggests that short-chain PFAS compounds spontaneously form longer chain compounds upon release to the environment. It is however equally as persistent as the previous long-chain version. Many compostable materials are coated in short-chain PFAS yet are advertised as environmentally safe and degradable, though recent research suggests significant uptake in the edible parts of cruciferous plants grown in soil amended with compost containing residue from these containers. Additionally, cruciferous plants were proven to absorb short-chain PFAS more readily compared to other plants. This experiment tests whether PFAS compounds transfer from soil into the kale and where in the kale it compartmentalizes.