ITRC Fact Sheets as Key Source of Information on PFAS Chemicals
November 4th, 2019
By now, more and more people across the country have heard about the emerging contaminants referred to collectively as PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), primarily due to the discovery of PFAS chemicals in their water supplies. The existence of these chemicals in environmental media, particularly in public and private water supplies, poses a risk to public health and the environment due primarily to their toxicity and persistence in that they do not degrade in the environment and accumulate in blood and tissue of organisms that are exposed to the chemical. Therefore, it is increasingly important that affected, and potentially affected, individuals have access to reliable, well-vetted information on various aspects of these chemicals due to the potential for significant health effects for exposed individuals.
Key sources of information that were written with the intent of being useful to a wide variety of stakeholders are a series of Fact Sheets produced by the Interstate Technical and Regulatory Council (ITRC), which is an organization comprised of representatives of state and federal regulatory agencies, as well as private entities, for the purpose of developing documents and training to improve technical knowledge and regulatory decision-making on technical topics while maintaining protection of human health and the environment. ITRC, which uses topic-specific teams to produce the documents and training, established a PFAS Team consisting of regulatory and private-sector stakeholders, to prepare the PFAS Fact Sheets that are currently available for stakeholders to use to improve their understanding of PFAS chemicals. The ITRC PFAS Team prepared seven PFAS Fact Sheets, each of which focuses on a specific aspect of PFAS chemicals, as well as an Introductory Document to provide an overview of information provided in each Fact Sheet. The topics covered by each Fact Sheet are summarized below, along with the date of the most recent update.
- Naming Conventions and Physical and Chemical Properties (updated 3-16-18)
- Regulations, Guidance, and Advisories (updated 1-4-18), which includes tables as Excel files (most recent update October 2019) that address comparisons of PFAS values for soil and water across various jurisdictions
- History and Use (published 11-13-17)
- Environmental Fate and Transport (published 3-16-18), which includes an Excel table for Log Koc values for select PFAS chemicals (published April 2018)
- Site Characterization Considerations, Sampling Precautions, and Laboratory Analytical Methods (published 3-15-18)
- Remediation Technologies and Methods (published 3-15-18), which includes an Excel table comparing remediation technologies (published April 2018)
- Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (published October 2018)
Given the wide range of experience of ITRC PFAS Team members and the need for consensus among Team members before any ITRC document can be published, the ITRC Fact Sheets on PFAS provide a reliable source of well-vetted information for any stakeholder or interested party to obtain an overview of PFAS chemicals that can serve as an introduction to more in-depth studies on particular topics of interest regarding PFAS. The ITRC fact sheets are available on the ITRC website at https://pfas-1.itrcweb.org/fact-sheets/.
Gail L. Batchelder, Ph.D., P.G., L.E.P., Technical Director at HRP Associates, Inc.