An Update on Those "Forever" Chemicals

Science for the Public: Contemporary Science Issues and Innovations
WGBH Forum Network webinar October 17, 2023

Philippe Grandjean, MD, DMSc., Dept of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark; also Adjunct Professor and Principal Investigator STEEP (Sources, Transport, Exposure & Effects of PFAS), College of Pharmacy, University of Rhode Island.

PFAS, a group of chemicals added to many everyday products, became a concern years ago in the medical community, but governmental agencies were slow to impose regulations. It is now clear that these “forever” chemicals are almost everywhere and in almost everyone. For years, epidemiologists have worked to establish the effects of these toxins on human development and general health. Even now, the controls on PFAS production and use are inadequate.

Philippe Grandjean has been a leader in the international scientific research on PFAS.He provides, in this discussion, the information the public needs for dealing with PFAS-related health issues, and he also explains why so much data was not available to researchers until recently.

Dr. Grandjean is the author of a major book about the effect of forever chemicals on brain development: Only One Chance: How Environmental Pollution Impairs Brain Development -- and How to Protect the Brains of the Next Generation (Oxford Press, 2013)

NYT article about Dr. Grandjean's work: ‘Forever Chemicals’ Are Everywhere. What Are They Doing to Us?

NIH article about Dr. Grandjean's work: Scientific Journeys: From the Faroe Islands to PFAS Research

Toxic PFAS from US Military Bases Polluting Drinking Water, Report Finds

(2004) ‘Mercury Madness Award’ for excellence in science in the public interest
(2016) John R. Goldsmith Award from the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology
(2022) Needleman Award in Children’s Environmental Health from the International Society for Children’s Health and the Environment
---Dr. Grandjean also served as a member of European Environment Agency’s scientific committee in 2012-2020 and of the World Health Organization’s European Advisory Committee on Health Research in 2011-2017