In close partnership with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Department of Environmental Health, and Silent Spring Institute, the University of Rhode Island leads the Sources, Transport, Exposure and Effects of PFAS (STEEP) Superfund Research Program (SRP). STEEP is addressing the emerging and expanding problem of poly- and perfluoralkyl substances (PFAS) contamination.
STEEP Research Projects aim to better understand the pathways of PFAS contamination from entry into the environment through groundwater contamination, dispersal through the food web, and distribution to vulnerable human populations during early development, in part through breast milk. In addition, STEEP supports the development and deployment of in situ passive sampling techniques for PFAS and their precursors in water. STEEP is thereby addressing limitations in the current understanding of human exposure to PFAS by combining targeted human exposure assessment with chemometric approaches to characterize existing PFAS sources.