Senior Risk Assessor
EA Engineering, Science, and Technology, Inc., PBC
Ms. Cheatwood is the senior risk assessor for EA Engineering, Science, and Technology, Inc., PBC with 30 years of experience. She has completed over 200 human health risk assessment and environmental site assessments under various federal, state, and local regulatory frameworks. Her recent work includes supporting PFAS investigations to create defensible data for PFAS-related risk assessments, including collecting fish tissue to assess migration of PFAS from groundwater to surface water bodies. She has a Master’s degree in Environmental Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Maryland.
Is Something “Fishy” Going On?
This presentation outlines real-world observations, ongoing research, and considerations taken during PFAS RIs to ensure that risk associated with the surface water-to-fish-to-human consumption pathway is identified early in the RI planning process. Based on the high bioaccumulation factors associated with certain PFAS such as PFOA, PFOS and PFHxS, low part per trillion concentrations of these PFAS present in surface water can still accumulate in certain fish species at part per billion levels, which is high enough for local health departments to issue fish consumptions advisories. This has also been observed in surface water bodies where PFAS concentrations in surface water were well below either the EPA RSLs or site-specific ecological screening values. A wholistic approach utilizing the latest science on uptake and accumulation of PFAS in fish with traditional HHRA methodology incorporating fish tissue sampling is ideal in quantifying risk associated with the surface water-to-fish-to-human consumption PFAS pathway.