There are increasing concerns about the potential toxicological effects and human health risks associated with exposure to perfluoroalkyl and polyflouroalkyl substances (PFAS), particularly perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and other related compounds. PFAS are ubiquitous, persistent, bioaccmulative, and toxic chemicals of concern. Many of these compounds haven been detected in human biological fluids throughout the world. Humans are exposed to mixtures of PFAS mainly through dietary intake and drinking water. Although a great deal of research has been targeted at understanding the toxicity and underlying mechanisms of these compounds, substantial information gaps still exist that are important for their human health risk assessment. Specifically, the toxicity and potential risk of PFAS, other than PFOS and PFOA are less understood; and limited toxicity data exist for PFAS mixtures. These information gaps remain a major challenge to their health risk assessment. Considering that PFAS primarily accumulate in the liver, it is important to investigate how these compounds jointly affect the liver. Therefore, this project aims to assess the toxicity of several PFAS containing different functional groups and carbon chain lengths individually and in combinations on several biological endpoints using human liver cells. The results from this study may help to better assess their human health risk.

Atinuke holds a Bachelor’s degree in Zoology from Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria and a Master of Science degree in Contamination, Risk Assessment and Remediation from the University of Lancaster, United Kingdom. As such, she has experience in the toxicity and risk assessment of environmental contaminants. Prior to joining Queensland Alliance for Environmental Health Science (QAEHS) for her PhD, Atinuke was employed as a research assistant in the area of ecotoxicology under the supervision of Dr. Olugbenga John Owojori of the Department of Zoology, Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria. Her PhD research program focuses on assessing the toxicological interactions of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) mixtures. Atinuke is particularly interested in how human cell or cell lines respond to PFASs under laboratory conditions; development of in vitro assays for the comparative toxicity assessment of PFAS mixtures; and validation of these assays and biological end points using real environmental samples. This is with the view to protect the ecosystems and human health.


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