Maternal and neonatal effects of in utero exposure to perfluoroalkyl ether acids in the Sprague-Dawley rat

January 15, 2020
1:00 pm US Eastern Time

Extensive work has been conducted investigating the toxicology and epidemiology of legacy, straight-chain perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), including PFOA and PFOS.  These compounds have now largely been removed from commerce because of concerns over widespread environmental contamination, relatively long environmental and biological half-lives, nearly ubiquitous exposure to humans and wildlife, and numerous adverse effects associated with exposure. Due to advancements in environmental chemical monitoring, additional PFAS compounds have been identified and quantified in surface water, ground water, drinking water, and human serum.  One subclass of PFAS that have recently been identified are perfluoroalkyl ether acids (PFEA), which contain one or more ether bonds in the carbon chain.  Examples include the perfluoroalkyl ether carboxylic acid GenX and the perfluoroalkyl ether sulfonic acid Nafion byproduct 2.  GenX is currently used as a replacement for PFOA in the industrial manufacturing of non-stick coatings and Nafion byproduct 2 is a byproduct of industrial manufacturing of high-performance electrochemical membranes.  Notably, although GenX and Nafion byproduct 2 have been recently detected in elevated concentrations in river water and drinking water, there are little or no peer-reviewed, published toxicity studies for comparison to the legacy PFAS.  Further, despite biomonitoring data indicating widespread human exposure to multiple PFAS, there is little to no in vivotoxicity data regarding mixture-based effects to inform cumulative risk assessment.  In this webinar, Dr. Justin Conley covered recent data generated from laboratory rat studies on the adverse maternal, fetal, and neonatal effects of in utero exposure to emerging PFAS compounds individually and as a mixture.         

Featured Speaker

Justin Conley, PhD, is a Reproductive Systems Biologist in the Reproductive and Developmental Toxicology Branch at the USEPA in Research Triangle Park, NC.  He received a PhD in Environmental Toxicology from North Carolina State University and then trained as a Postdoctoral Toxicologist in the laboratories of Dr. Earl Gray and Dr. Vickie Wilson before joining the EPA as a Principal Investigator. Currently, his research focuses on the reproductive and development toxicity of in uteroexposure toindividual chemicals and mixtures, primarily perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and endocrine disrupting chemicals including pesticides and plasticizers. His work utilizes in vitroandin vivoapproaches to elucidate mechanisms of toxicity, model dose response relationships, determine relative potency, and assess mixture-based responses. The applied nature of this work directly informs chemical hazard and risk assessment by state and federal agencies and helps develop Adverse Outcome Pathways that characterize molecular initiating events, key events, and adverse outcomes relevant to high priority chemicals.

This webinar is one in a monthly series sponsored by the Collaborative on Health and the Environment’s EDC Strategies Partnership. The CHE EDC Strategies Partnership is chaired by Sharyle Patton (Commonweal Biomonitoring Resource Center), Jerry Heindel (Commonweal HEEDS, Healthy Environment and Endocrine Disruptor Strategies), and Genon Jensen (HEAL) and coordinated by Hannah Donart (Collaborative on Health and the Environment, a Commonweal program). To see a full list of past calls and webinars related to EDCs and listen to or view recordings, please visit our partnership page.

This webinar was moderated by Sharyle Patton, Director of the Commonweal Biomonitoring Resource Center. It lasted for 30 minutes and was recorded for our call and webinar archive.