Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and health effects: addressing the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s (NASEM’s) recommendations for at-risk populations

November 30, 2022 @ 12:00am (AKST)

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are chemicals that are widely used in consumer products, industrial firefighting foams used on military bases and airports, and can be found in drinking water throughout Alaska and the US. In Alaska, the dispersive use of PFAS-based firefighting foams have contaminated the drinking water of communities from the North Slope to southeast Alaska.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) special committee recently examined the health outcomes associated with the most widely studied PFAS and made recommendations on who, when, how, and what to test, as well as the risks of testing. This webinar will provide information on the principles used for framing clinician decision making when there is uncertainty in outcomes in the scientific literature, what potential health effects may be associated with exposure, recommendations for testing and clinical follow-up, and special considerations when engaging environmental justice communities.  We will also discuss how this information is relevant to Alaska and policy changes that are needed to protect public health.

The NASEM report – National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine 2022. Guidance on PFAS Exposure, Testing, and Clinical Follow-Up. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

The report in an interactive form –

Identified PFAS contamination in Alaska –

PFAS policies in the US –

The Mid Atlantic Center for Children’s Health and the Environment –

Anderko, L. & Pennea, E. (2020). Exposures to Per-and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS): Potential Risks to Reproductive and Children’s Health, Current Problems in Pediatric and Adolescent Health Care, 100760  

Anderko, L., Pennea, E., & Chalupka, S. (2020). Per-and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances: An Emerging Contaminant of Concern. Annual Review of Nursing Research38(1), 159-182.

(ATSDR) (2022). Per-and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances and Your Health. Available at:

Environmental Health Protection Agency (EPA) (2022). Drinking Water Health Advisories for PFOA and PFOS. Available at:  

Threats to Drinking Water and Public Health in Alaska: The Scope of the PFAS Problem, Consequences of Regulatory Inaction, and Recommendations (ACAT, 2019) –

PFAS in drinking water and serum of the people of a southeast Alaska community: A pilot study (2022) –

Scientific Basis for Managing PFAS as a Chemical Class (2020) 

Nordic Council of Ministers – PFAS resources –

Why PFAS Should be Considered as a Class (short video)  

Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substance Toxicity and Human Health Review: Current State of Knowledge and Strategies for Informing Future Research –

The EPA Must Act to Regulate PFAS as a Class

PFAS Strategic Roadmap: EPA’s Commitments to Action –

The True Cost of PFAS and the Benefits of Acting Now

PFAS Strategic Roadmap: EPA’s Commitments to Action

The Perils of PFAS – A presentation by Dr. Linda Birnbaum to the Environmental Health Solutions Seminar Series –

A Never-Ending Story of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)? – 

PFAS tox database –


Previous CHE-Alaska webinars on PFAS: 

The challenge of PFAS with Dr. Linda S. Birnbaum

Protecting water quality, health and the environment: urgent questions pertaining to PFAS with Dr. Carla Ng

The urgency of addressing “Forever Chemicals:” the scientific basis for managing PFAS as a chemical class

Featured speakers

Dr. Laura Anderko PhD RN is Co-Director of the Mid-Atlantic Center for Children’s Health and the Environment, the federally funded Region 3 Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU) at Villanova University College of Nursing. She has been a public health nurse for over 40 years, and is an educator and scholar focusing on environmental health for over 25 years. She served on a number of federal advisory committees, was a co-author of the recent NASEM report establishing guidance of PFAS testing and health.

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