In a press statement from April 20, 2021, the civil society organization Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) announced the release of the PFAS-Tox Database, which catalogs all publicly available toxicology studies on a set of 29 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) published through May 2019. The database includes human, animal, and in vitro studies and organizes them into 15 health outcome categories. For each study, it provides the full citations, abstracts, and study details, including exposure concentrations and measured outcomes.
The PFAS-Tox Database was built by a collaborative group of scientists from universities and NGOs to collect and organize available toxicological research data, especially for the PFAS suggested as replacements for problematic legacy compounds such as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA; CAS 335-67-1) and perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS; CAS 1763-23-1). The new tool will enable legislators, scientists, and the public to stay informed of the growing scientific literature on the toxicity and health effects of these substances. The authors also write that the database “pushes back on industry’s deny, delay, and distract tactics by organizing the hundreds of peer-reviewed studies that have been conducted on PFAS beyond PFOA and PFOS, thereby making it harder to deny health impacts and delay health-protective actions by continuing to call for more research.”
Through a systematic analysis of available literature, the researchers found 742 studies for 29 selected PFAS measured in the environment or in people. Of all PFAS chemicals, the most detected substance in over 90% of people studied in the US has been perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA, CAS 375-95-1). The researchers highlight that their database features “dozens of studies, in humans, animals and in vitro, [that] have been conducted on many purportedly ‘safer’ PFAS.”
The experts conclude that instead of managing regulation for PFAS one by one, a class-based approach would be much more efficient and health-protective. Such an approach has already been proposed by governments such as California’s (FPF reported) and implemented by companies including McDonald’s (FPF reported).
An update of the PFAS-Tox Database is set to be released, as many more studies have been published since the authors started their review in 2019.
Anna Reade (April 20, 2021). “The Big Reveal: Hundreds of Health Studies on Next Gen PFAS.” NRDC
Katie Pelch and Anna Reade et al. (April 21, 2021). “New PFAS-Tox Database released.” PFAS Central
Anna Reade (April 20, 2021). “[Blog] The big reveal: Hundreds of health studies on next-gen PFAS.” PFAS Central
PFAS-Tox Database (April 20, 2021). “PFAS Tox-Database.”