PFAS Pilot Study

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are persistent anthropogenic chemicals widely used in industrial processes and commercial products. PFAS exposure has been linked to endocrine disruption, cancer, obesity, immune suppression, and altered liver function in adults and/or children. Human PFAS exposure occurs via household dust, air, diet, and drinking water. Exposure from drinking water is a serious concern due to PFASs’ high aqueous solubility. A spatial analysis of 2013-2015 national drinking water PFAS concentrations from the U.S. EPA estimated that 6 million U.S. residents, including those in California’s Monterey County, had access to drinking water supplies whose PFAS concentrations exceeded the U.S. EPA’s lifetime health advisory.

In the current pilot study, we aim to examine PFAS concentrations in drinking water samples from the Salinas Valley, California. We also aim to assess PFAS concentrations in blood samples from Salinas Valley residents. Located within Monterey County, the Salinas Valley is home to an old army airfield (now the Municipal Airport) and Fort Ord, two likely sources of PFAS exposure. The Valley is also the home to CHAMACOS, a longitudinal birth cohort of ~600 low-income, Mexican American mother-child dyads whose health has been tracked for over 20 years.

Study at a Glance

  • Study Objectives: This pilot study aims to assess the PFAS concentrations in drinking water and blood samples from a small sample of participants from the Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas (CHAMACOS) study.
  • Principal investigator: Dr. Ana Maria Mora (CERCH/UC Berkeley).
  • Project partners: Dr. Paul M. Bradley (U.S. Geological Survey), Dr. Debbie E. Goldberg (UCSF), Dr. Robert Gunier (CERCH/UC Berkeley), Ms. Katherine Kogut (CERCH/UC Berkeley), Dr. Peggy Reynolds (EaRTH Center/UCSF), Dr. Gina Solomon (Public Health Institute), Dr. Julie Von Behren (UCSF)
  • Funder: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
  • Contact: Dr. Ana Maria Mora at
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