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Environmental, Energy + Telecommunications Group lawyer Earl Phillips will present on "Per and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS): Specific Technical Challenges, Litigation, and Solutions." The panel will address the predominant sources and routes of exposure associated with adults and children in the general public, communities in close proximity to production areas, and occupational populations, where inhalation may be the primary driver. Methodologies to derive inhalation-based toxicity criteria to allow screening level assessment will be presented, focused on U.S. EPA- and ATSDR- (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry) promulgated standards.
With a focus on human health, few PFAS sites have addressed ecological risk. An ecological exposure model for birds and mammals will be discussed as applied to five Aqueous Film-Forming Foam-impacted sites to clarify exposure pathways and identify key receptors of concern, including site-specific modeling results and prioritization. Soil represents a key reservoir with respect to ongoing sources of contamination in water (through leaching and overland transport of suspended particles). Discussion will include soil as a key intermediary source at PFAS sites affected by deposition of airborne emissions from PFAS manufacturing processes, based on leaching and impact to underlying groundwater. Considering fate and exposure, the legal landscape is dynamic, complicating data gaps. The panel will look at cases involving individuals as well as classes of plaintiffs seeking personal injury damages and health monitoring, water companies seeking protection, as well as municipalities and State environmental and public health agencies.