The chemicals PFOS and PFOA were widely used to make carpets, clothing, fabrics for furniture, paper packaging for food and other materials that are resistant to water, grease or stains. They were also used for firefighting at airfields and in a range of industrial processes.

These chemicals have been in the news a lot recently due to water contamination issues associated with historical use in firefighting foams.

The EPA is currently investigating whether fire-fighting foams held, or in use at, airports and other locations contain the PFAS chemicals, PFOS and PFOA. They have also recently issued guidance on Managing fire-fighting foams manufactured with PFAS chemicals.The purpose of this webinar is to give you a better understanding of these chemicals, in particular:

  • Hazard and potential risks
  • Human health and impact
  • Sources into the environment
  • Fate, transport and distribution
  • Critical aspects of sampling and analysis
  • Regulation from overseas jurisdictions
  • Remediation and treatment

The presenters:

Dr Louis Tremblay. Louis is an environmental toxicologist at the Cawthron Institute and a Senior Lecturer at the University of Auckland. His research involves assessment of the toxicity of contaminants and complex mixtures like sewage effluent in the receiving environment. Louis’ main area of interest is the characterisation of the mechanisms of toxicity of microcontaminants on key New Zealand species.

Dr Grant Northcott. Grant has amassed a wealth of experience in environmental chemistry in New Zealand and abroad. Grant has previously worked at The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, the University of Lancaster School of Environmental and Biological Science where he obtained his PhD in 2000, and The Institute of Plant and Food Research. Grant is now the Director of Northcott Research Consultants.

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