Environmental remediation specialists from around the world attended the RemTEC and Emerging Contaminants Summit in Westminster, Colorado. The slideshow above has photos from the last day of the RemTEC and Emerging Contaminants Summit, Thursday, Oct. 6.
Joseph Braun, Associate Professor of Epidemiology at Brown University, started off the day with his keynote, “Impacts of Early Life PFAS Exposure on Adolescent Health: Preventing Exposure and Adverse Health Effects.” Referring to important research exhibited at RemTEC that indicates air is a significant source of PFAS exposure in the United States, Braun says he and his colleagues decided to deploy cheap air filters consisting of four MERV 13 filters and a box fan to push air through them. SNIPSmag.com, which covers the HVAC industry, has a video showing how to make one in 20 minutes.
“Versus commercial air filters that cost you $300 bucks, you can build one of these for $75 to $100,” Braun says. “We installed these in 18 rooms in the School of Public Health, and before we installed them, we measured air concentrations of 44 PFAS and 26 volatile or semi-volatile organic compounds.”
After running the DIY air filters for a few weeks and sampling again, Braun says the team reduced concentrations of 7 PFAS by nearly 50%. He then reviewed research that lowered PFAS body burden through plasma and blood donations – since PFAS binds to albumin in the blood, donations do work to reduce PFAS concentrations. “But that’s not the clinical recommendation we want, I think this is really more of a proof of concept that it can be done,” Braun says.
Megan Houlihan, staff engineer at Geosyntec Consultants, then immediately followed up with award announcements for the student competition. To review winners and photos, read Remediation Technology’s story.