PFAS and Testicular Cancer: A Study of U.S. Air Force Servicemen

November 16, 2023
1:00 pm US Eastern Time

Slides & Resources



Mark Purdue: Serum PFAS Concentrations and testicular cancer among U.S. Air Force servicemen.


International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). 2016. IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans, Volume 110: Some Chemicals Used as Solvents and in Polymer Manufacture

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). 2023. Carcinogenicity of perfluorooctanoic acid perfluorooctanesulfonic acidThe Lancet https://doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(23)00622-8

National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine. 2022. Consensus Study Report Highlights: Guidance on PFAS Exposure, Testing, and Clinical Follow-up

Norman, H and Kime, P. 2023. "Pioneering study links testicular cancer among military personnel to 'forever chemicals.'" Environmental Health News August 21, 2023.

Purdue, MP et al. 2023. A Nested Case–Control Study of Serum Per-and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances and Testicular Germ Cell Tumors among U.S. Air Force ServicemenEnvironmental Health Perspectives 131:7.

Download our Webinar Highlights fact sheet for key findings and quotes from this webinar.

The US military has used firefighting foams containing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) for several decades. The Department of Defense (DoD) has designated PFAS as emerging contaminants due to their long environmental persistence, contamination of drinking water supplies and potential associations with several health outcomes (including cancer). 

In this half-hour EDC Strategies Partnership webinar, Dr. Mark Purdue presented findings from a recent study investigating serum PFAS concentrations and their associations with testicular cancer risk among Air Force servicemen, using samples from the DoD Serum Repository.

The study found an association between military firefighting work and elevated serum levels of certain PFAS. The study also found a relationship between PFOS serum levels and risk of testicular germ cell tumors. 

This webinar was moderated by Dr. Rachel Massey, Senior Science and Policy Advisor at CHE.

Featured Speaker

Mark Purdue, Ph.D., is a Senior Investigator in the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch of the National Cancer Institute’s Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics. Dr. Purdue's interests center on applying molecular and classical epidemiologic methods to identify environmental and occupational risk factors of cancer. He is particularly interested in evaluating the potential carcinogenicity of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and chlorinated solvents, and investigating the etiology of kidney cancer.

This webinar was hosted by the EDC Strategies Partnership, which is co-chaired by Sharyle Patton (Commonweal Biomonitoring Resource Center), Jerry Heindel and Sarah Howard (Environmental Health Sciences' Healthy Environment and Endocrine Disruptor Strategies HEEDS), Génon Jensen (Health and Environment Alliance, HEAL), and Rachel Massey (CHE, Collaborative for Health and Environment). To see a full list of past calls and webinars related to EDCs and listen to or view recordings, please visit our partnership page.