19 episodes

Talking PFAS contamination with those who live on or near it; with a wide range of experts who study PFAS and its health effects; with those who have worked with this toxic chemical; with those who are trying to remove it from the environment & people, and with the politicians and Government who have the power to fix this problem

TalkingPFAS Kayleen Bell

    • Documentary
    • 4.9, 10 Ratings

Talking PFAS contamination with those who live on or near it; with a wide range of experts who study PFAS and its health effects; with those who have worked with this toxic chemical; with those who are trying to remove it from the environment & people, and with the politicians and Government who have the power to fix this problem

    Episode 19 Leisa-Maree Toms QLD QUT PFAS in Blood "We can see in our human biomonitoring that the general population are exposed..."

    Episode 19 Leisa-Maree Toms QLD QUT PFAS in Blood "We can see in our human biomonitoring that the general population are exposed..."

    This is a fascinating talk with QLD researcher Leisa-Maree Toms from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Brisbane. It was recorded before the Covid-19 lockdown in Australia on the 17/2/2020. Leisa has been involved in human biomonitoring in Australia, looking at a range of contaminants in human blood including PFAS. Blood samples for the human biomonitoring program in Australia were first collected as part of The National Dioxin Program in Australia. Out of curiosity researchers used these samples, first collected in 2002, to have a look for PFAS. They have been monitoring for PFAS since that time. Leisa-Maree explains that the human biomonitoring program looks at background levels in the general population, with its main focus being on PFAS in blood samples collected from people in South East Queensland. However Leisa-Maree has been successful in obtaining funding from a NHMRC grant to broaden her their research to other states and territories of Australia.

    Sample:
    Kayleen: "Do you think that the continued monitoring of PFAS chemicals in Australia is an important thing to do, both for background levels, and also individuals?"

    Leisa-Maree: "So certainly for background levels, since we have seen this decrease over time. If you want to be comparing occupationally exposed or residentially exposed concentrations you need an up to date background level. So for that reason, it is important to keep monitoring because we have seen a decrease, are we now going to plateau? Are we going to keep on decreasing? Are there secondary exposures that we might be exposed to? Will we see an increase? I think to stay up to date, it is really important to keep that monitoring going."

    • 50 min
    Ep 18 Prof Chris Higgins "I have certainly described this as what I think is a major challenge for my generation of environmental engineers"

    Ep 18 Prof Chris Higgins "I have certainly described this as what I think is a major challenge for my generation of environmental engineers"

    Today's episode is a fascinating discussion with Professor Chris Higgins from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Colorado School of Mines U.S. Chris was visiting Australia in March 2020 to discuss work on a PFAS soil washing project being conducted in Adelaide SA. Chris was attending a project meeting to discuss this project at QHAES, Brisbane and this interview was conducted there on the 3/3/2020, just before everything started to get locked down because of Covid-19. I am very glad I got the chance to talk with Professor Chris Higgins about PFAS because his chemistry background plus his extensive knowledge of PFAS chemicals produced a very informative and interesting discussion. It is an episode that you do not want to miss if you want to understand the behaviour of this complex group of chemicals known as PFAS. Chris said " I have certainly described this as what I think is a major challenge for my generation of environmental engineers. We are going to be dealing with this for a long time to come."

    • 51 min
    Ep 17 - PFAS Biosolids Landfills WWTP Floodwaters - Christie Gallen University of QLD

    Ep 17 - PFAS Biosolids Landfills WWTP Floodwaters - Christie Gallen University of QLD

    This is the final episode for Season 2 and 2019 - Taking a longer break (for other PFAS work) next one due approximately May/June 2020

    In today's episode I will be talking PFAS in the waste streams and their release back into the environment, and possible effects of some of these transmission pathways on agriculture and hence the food chain.

    For the main discussion I will be talking with researcher, Christie Gallen, from the University of Queensland in Brisbane, discussing her research into PFASs in landfill leachate, WWTPs, biosolids and QLD floodwaters.

    Christie has a background in Chemistry and Biology and has an Honours degree in Chemistry. She currently works as a research assistant in Brisbane.

    Throughout today's episode I will bring in some facts from Christie's research papers and also put a link to her four papers in the show notes.

    I will also incorporate other relevant information about PFAS in landfills, biosolids, and WWTPs, and also highlight some brief overseas case study examples from Michigan, Maine, and even Alaska.

    Show Notes: Research Gallen et al

    1. PFAS flood waters
    Spatio-temporal assessment of perfluorinated compounds in the Brisbane River system, Australia: Impact of a major flood event (2014)
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0025326X14001106

    2. A mass estimate of perfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) release from Australian wastewater treatment plants (2018)
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0045653518310981

    3. Australia-wide assessment of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in landfill leachates (2017)
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304389417300870?via%3Dihub

    4. Occurrence and distribution of brominated flame retardants and perfluoroalkyl substances in Australian landfill leachate and biosolids (2016)
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304389416302539?via%3Dihub

    Bloomberg Environment Parts Per Billion Podcast - Maine Dairy Farmer Fred Stone PFAS & Biosolids
    https://news.bloombergenvironment.com/environment-and-energy/the-farmer-who-got-punished-for-reporting-pollution-podcast

    • 53 min
    Ep 16 - Helena Hinrichsen, Sweden "It is a nasty contaminant we still have lots to investigate about just how toxic it is and I think it needs to be more known to the public what PFAS is."

    Ep 16 - Helena Hinrichsen, Sweden "It is a nasty contaminant we still have lots to investigate about just how toxic it is and I think it needs to be more known to the public what PFAS is."

    Helena Hinrichsen is an Environmental Engineer from EnvyTech Solutions AB, Sweden was a presenter at the 2019 Clean Up Conference held in Adelaide between 8-12 September. I caught up with her at the conference for a short interview, where we discuss some of the challenges with remediation of PFAS. Helena believes there is not one solution for a PFAS problem, and that collaboration is key to solving the PFAS problem. She says the main three treatments for PFAS are thermal, chemistry and mechanical and Helena says "by combining them we can get a better solution than just using one of them." Helena is involved in, what she believes is the first project in the world, where they are using two combined methods for stabilisation both for groundwater and unsaturated soil, which is the soil above the groundwater. Today's talk is a bit technical but it was great to hear about some methods for treating PFAS. Helena also says, "I think what we all need to know is that we actually are moving forward. It is not always bad things. Yeah it is bad, it is really bad, but good things are happening. Man created it and we are really good at creating things so solutions are coming along so I see there is hope."

    Show Note Links:

    Guest speaker Helena Hinrichsen, Project Manager, EnvyTech Solutions AB Sweden http://envytech.se/om-envytech/

    "Helena has long experience in planning and project management of remediation works and possesses top-level expertise in soil and groundwater treatment techniques. Helena also has long experience of working with overall commitments on remediation projects, which includes all information from the notification and public contacts to planning, project management, monitoring and final reporting."

    CRC Care has published a link from the 2019 Clean Up Conference where you can download presentations from a range of sessions, including many PFAS sessions. This is where you can see the full presentation by Ian Cousins, Stockholm University, Sweden (mentioned briefly in today's episode) - you will see where he got the number of 4700 PFAS chemicals as well.
    http://adelaide2019.cleanupconference.com/presentations/

    IPEN has some great reports on PFAS - here is their latest report referred to briefly in today's episode
    https://ipen.org/news/new-report-perfluorohexane-sulfonate-pfhxs%E2%80%94-socio-economic-impact-exposure-and-precautionary

    • 26 min
    Ep 15 Clean Up Conference 2019 Professor Ravi Naidu "PFAS is one contaminant that I believe is far more challenging to come up with a solution than arsenic or lead"

    Ep 15 Clean Up Conference 2019 Professor Ravi Naidu "PFAS is one contaminant that I believe is far more challenging to come up with a solution than arsenic or lead"

    Today's discussion is with Professor Ravi Naidu the founder of CRC Care. This interview was recorded at the CRC Care 2019 Clean Up Conference held in Adelaide, Australia between 8-12 September. There were 700 delegates representing 35 countries, with many world leaders in the field of remediation. In this episode Professor Naidu talks about the important work that CRC Care do in bringing industry, regulators, polluters, and academic professionals together. He says "CRC Care is a Co-operative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment. Our job is to develop innovative technologies and solutions for the prevention, assessment and remediation of contaminated land." He said there are over 160,000 contaminated sites in Australia (*NB there are not all PFAS sites). He said if PFAS sites were included there would be more than 160,000 contaminated sites in Australia mainly in urban areas. In the last 20 years, he says Australia has only managed to remediate about 5% of these sites. Professor Naidu believes PFAS is a far more challenging contaminant than arsenic or lead to come up with solutions. Professor Naidu also discusses CRC Care's funding challenges as their Commonwealth Government funding is due to expire 30 June 2020 and he explains what that would mean in relation to contaminated sites in Australia, if CRC Care failed to continue.

    • 23 min
    Ep - 14 Jennifer Spencer Oakey QLD "I live in fear every day. I live in anguish every day. I want my choices given back to me"

    Ep - 14 Jennifer Spencer Oakey QLD "I live in fear every day. I live in anguish every day. I want my choices given back to me"

    Jennifer Spencer had a dream of training race horses on her own property. In 2012, she bought a property in Oakey, QLD to fulfil that dream where she wouldn't have water worries. But shortly after buying that property she discovered that the abundant bore was contaminated with PFAS chemicals, from AFFF fire fighting foam used by Defence, at the Oakey Army Aviation Centre since the 1970's. Jennifer along with many hundreds of residents in Australia have been fighting to get compensation. The Australian Government has still not responded to the recommendations from the 2018 PFAS Inquiry. The Australian Government has also just stopped the free PFAS blood tests for Oakey, Katherine and Williamtown and the free mental health counselling via Support Now, as at 30 June, 2019.

    • 56 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
10 Ratings

10 Ratings

spud690 ,

Talking PFAS

Great content very good questions raised, looking forward to next episode Carol Jones

Top Podcasts In Documentary

Listeners Also Subscribed To