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Inaugural Steep Science Day On Cape Cod

Groundwater on Cape Cod, MA, is contaminated with PFAS from multiple sources, including aqueous film-forming foams (AFFFs) and household wastewater.  The Cape’s sandy soils make the groundwater aquifer vulnerable to contamination by PFAS and other pollutants, affecting the public and private drinking water wells on which residents rely.  In some parts of Cape Cod, people have been exposed to elevated PFAS levels through contaminated drinking water.  Learn more about our STEEP communities.

On June 7, 2018 STEEP hosted a Science Day in Hyannis at the Barnstable Town Hall to engage with the community about the potential risks of PFAS exposure, to discuss the work of the STEEP Superfund Research Program, and to listen to residents’ concerns.  Organized by our Community Engagement Core (CEC), Cape Cod residents, elected officials, and non-profit organizations engaged in discussion on future directions to reduce PFAS exposure and to raise awareness of PFAS contamination.  Topics included recent advances in detecting PFAS, assessing how PFAS change as they move through the environment, and understanding the properties of PFAS that make them unique.  The event featured a tour of the Hyannis Water System’s treatment plant for PFAS removal and a screening of the film, The Island and the Whales, set in the Faroe Islands where the population shows elevated levels of PFAS in their blood due in part to consumption of whale meat. View presentations and a video recording of the event.

Alyson McCann introducing the STEEP Well Water Testing Program, June 7, 2018.

STEEP Science Day offered an opportunity for Trainees to present their research findings and interact with the community:

Jitka Becanova, Rainer Lohmann. “Fiber passive samplers as a promising tool for PFAS detection at AFFF-impacted sites.”

Alicia Crisalli, Bongsup Cho. “Investigating the Protein Binding Behavior of Perfluorinated Compounds (PFAS) Using Surface Plasmon Resonance.”

Michael Fedorenko, Jessica Orr, Geoffrey Bothun.  “PFOS Properties Determine Their Fate.”

Christine Gardiner, Anna Robuck, Jitka Becanova, Rainer Lohmann. “Utilization of passive samplers to detect PFAS in aquatic environments.”

Emily Martell, Marisa Pfohl, Cameron Picard, Nicholas A. DaSilva, Firas Sammoura, Jasmine Ayala, Angela Slitt. “Perfluorooctanesulfonic Acid (PFOS) and Liver Steatosis.”

Anna R. Robuck, Christine L. Gardiner, Rainer Lohmann. “Preliminary results describing occurrence of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in seabirds from Atlantic offshore and coastal environments.”

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