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Guidance on Perfluorinated alkylated substances (PFAS) in soil and water environments (RP1145)

Perfluorinated alkylated substances (PFAS) are a group of man-made substances used in many industrial and consumer products such as carpeting, apparels, fire-fighting foams and metal plating in stain repellents, polishes, paints, coatings. There is evidence to indicate that soils and groundwater in certain locations have been impacted by these substances.

In 2009 Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) were listed as persistent organic pollutants under the Stockholm Convention. These chemicals are persistent, and resist degradation in the environment. They also bioaccumulate and at high concentrations, certain PFAS have been linked to adverse health effects in laboratory animals that may reflect associations between exposure to these chemicals and some health problems such as low birth weight, delayed puberty onset, elevated cholesterol levels, and reduced immunologic responses to vaccination. There are also a growing number of legal proceedings in countries such as the USA and Australia. In 2016 there was a case heard in the UK High Court between 3M and the States of Guernsey.

Project objectives
Stage 1 to improve construction professionals awareness of;
  • the current understanding of risk of PFAS to human health and other receptors
  • the relevant legislation and therefore their responsibilities and potential liabilities

Stage 2 - to help UK practitioners assess and manage the risks.

Project status
LQM with TetraTech and ALS has been appointed to the research contractor.

Further information
For further information or to get involved with this project please contact Joanne Kwan.

Project proposal
(Adobe PDF File)