Several members of our group and institute attended this fascinating meeting to learn and network
Asmita and Lisa attended the third Annual PFAS Meeting held in Wilmington, NC. Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) are used in many consumer products but are often released into the environment. Many waterways throughout the U.S. are contaminated with high levels of PFAS, including the Cape Fear River in Wilmington. The long persistence of PFAS in the environment and in our bodies has led to their label as "forever chemicals".
A lovely sunset in Wilmington, NC
The experts discussed the current state of research on PFAS and the research gaps in understanding the multi-organ health effects of these chemicals, including on the placenta. The event also provided the opportunity to meet and interact with researchers, physicians, policymakers, and environmental groups in order to learn about the health effects of PFAS and the need for more research in order to increase scientific evidence for controlling the use of these chemicals and eliminating their discharge into the environment.
(From left to right) Dr. Dickson, Lisa Padilla-Banks, and Dr. Asmita (who won one of the Travel Awards!) from our Reproductive and Developmental Biology Laboratory department attended and shared their research and knowledge during this meeting.
A diverse group of community members from all over the U.S. participated in the program to share their perspectives about these chemicals and the impact of years of PFAS exposure affecting their community. One of these stories was captured in the movie “Dark Waters” starring Mark Ruffalo playing the role of attorney Rob Billot. At the meeting, Billot discussed the importance of scientific evidence to prove the harm caused by PFAS. The stories were difficult to listen to but were great opportunities to learn and to remind us that we need to do our research keeping in mind the bigger picture so we can contribute to the field and protect our environment.
Robert Billot during his talk.