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      A Chemical Category-Based Prioritization Approach for Selecting 75 Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) for Tiered Toxicity and Toxicokinetic Testing

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          Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are a group of fluorinated substances of interest to researchers, regulators, and the public due to their widespread presence in the environment. A few PFASs have comparatively extensive amounts of human epidemiological, exposure, and experimental animal toxicity data (e.g., perfluorooctanoic acid), whereas little toxicity and exposure information exists for much of the broader set of PFASs. Given that traditional approaches to generate toxicity information are resource intensive, new approach methods, including in vitro high-throughput toxicity (HTT) testing, are being employed to inform PFAS hazard characterization and further ( in vivo) testing. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Toxicology Program (NTP) are collaborating to develop a risk-based approach for conducting PFAS toxicity testing to facilitate PFAS human health assessments. This article describes the construction of a PFAS screening library and the process by which a targeted subset of 75 PFASs were selected. Multiple factors were considered, including interest to the U.S. EPA, compounds within targeted categories, structural diversity, exposure considerations, procurability and testability, and availability of existing toxicity data. Generating targeted HTT data for PFASs represents a new frontier for informing priority setting. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP4555

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          Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances in the Environment: Terminology, Classification, and Origins

          The primary aim of this article is to provide an overview of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) detected in the environment, wildlife, and humans, and recommend clear, specific, and descriptive terminology, names, and acronyms for PFASs. The overarching objective is to unify and harmonize communication on PFASs by offering terminology for use by the global scientific, regulatory, and industrial communities. A particular emphasis is placed on long-chain perfluoroalkyl acids, substances related to the long-chain perfluoroalkyl acids, and substances intended as alternatives to the use of the long-chain perfluoroalkyl acids or their precursors. First, we define PFASs, classify them into various families, and recommend a pragmatic set of common names and acronyms for both the families and their individual members. Terminology related to fluorinated polymers is an important aspect of our classification. Second, we provide a brief description of the 2 main production processes, electrochemical fluorination and telomerization, used for introducing perfluoroalkyl moieties into organic compounds, and we specify the types of byproducts (isomers and homologues) likely to arise in these processes. Third, we show how the principal families of PFASs are interrelated as industrial, environmental, or metabolic precursors or transformation products of one another. We pay particular attention to those PFASs that have the potential to be converted, by abiotic or biotic environmental processes or by human metabolism, into long-chain perfluoroalkyl carboxylic or sulfonic acids, which are currently the focus of regulatory action. The Supplemental Data lists 42 families and subfamilies of PFASs and 268 selected individual compounds, providing recommended names and acronyms, and structural formulas, as well as Chemical Abstracts Service registry numbers. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2011;7:513–541. © 2011 SETAC
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            In Vitro Screening of Environmental Chemicals for Targeted Testing Prioritization: The ToxCast Project

            Background Chemical toxicity testing is being transformed by advances in biology and computer modeling, concerns over animal use, and the thousands of environmental chemicals lacking toxicity data. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ToxCast program aims to address these concerns by screening and prioritizing chemicals for potential human toxicity using in vitro assays and in silico approaches. Objectives This project aims to evaluate the use of in vitro assays for understanding the types of molecular and pathway perturbations caused by environmental chemicals and to build initial prioritization models of in vivo toxicity. Methods We tested 309 mostly pesticide active chemicals in 467 assays across nine technologies, including high-throughput cell-free assays and cell-based assays, in multiple human primary cells and cell lines plus rat primary hepatocytes. Both individual and composite scores for effects on genes and pathways were analyzed. Results Chemicals displayed a broad spectrum of activity at the molecular and pathway levels. We saw many expected interactions, including endocrine and xenobiotic metabolism enzyme activity. Chemicals ranged in promiscuity across pathways, from no activity to affecting dozens of pathways. We found a statistically significant inverse association between the number of pathways perturbed by a chemical at low in vitro concentrations and the lowest in vivo dose at which a chemical causes toxicity. We also found associations between a small set of in vitro assays and rodent liver lesion formation. Conclusions This approach promises to provide meaningful data on the thousands of untested environmental chemicals and to guide targeted testing of environmental contaminants.
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              A Never-Ending Story of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs)?

              More than 3000 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are, or have been, on the global market, yet most research and regulation continues to focus on a limited selection of rather well-known long-chain PFASs, particularly perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and their precursors. Continuing to overlook the vast majority of other PFASs is a major concern for society. We provide recommendations for how to proceed with research and cooperation to tackle the vast number of PFASs on the market and in the environment.

                Author and article information

                Environ Health Perspect
                Environ. Health Perspect
                Environmental Health Perspectives
                Environmental Health Perspectives
                11 January 2019
                January 2019
                : 127
                : 1
                [1 ]National Center for Computational Toxicology, Office of Research and Development (ORD), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) , Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA
                [2 ]National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA), ORD, U.S. EPA , Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
                [3 ]Integrated Risk Information System Division, NCEA, ORD, U.S. EPA , Washington, District of Columbia, USA
                [4 ]National Toxicology Program, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services , Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA
                [5 ]National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, ORD, U.S. EPA , Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA
                [6 ]National Exposure Research Laboratory, ORD, U.S. EPA , Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA
                Author notes
                Address correspondence to G. Patlewicz, National Center of Computational Toxicology (NCCT), 109 T.W. Alexander Dr., Mail Code: D143-02, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709 USA. Telephone: (919) 541-1540. Email: patlewicz.grace@ 123456epa.gov

                EHP is an open-access journal published with support from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health. All content is public domain unless otherwise noted.

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