Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are a group compounds of emerging concern because of their persistent and bioaccumulative properties, as well as their associations with adverse health outcomes. PFASs are used in, for example, cookware, stain repellents and aqueous film forming foam (AFFFs) and a broad range of these compounds have been detected in human blood world-wide.  Compared to the general population, elevated PFAS serum concentrations have been reported in Australian firefighters with historical exposure to AFFF. To date there are no longitudinal data on the exposure of PFASs to firefighter’s in Australia, and this is what my PhD project aims to provide. We aim to investigate the trends of PFAS exposure to these firefighters, such as links to their work history. We also estimate the serum elimination half-lives of PFASs and assess potential associations with health outcomes. This will provide information necessary to evaluate the success of attempts to control exposure and provide data important for epidemiological studies and risk assessment.

Sandra completed her Bachelor of Science with a major in Biology 2018 at Lund University, Sweden. During her degree she undertook a one year exchange at The University Of Queensland, and a 6 month research project at QAEHS, where she focused on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in seafood. Following her graduation, she continued working at QAEHS, focusing on PFASs in aquatic biota, and humans. Sandra started her PhD in 2019 and is using her project to advance our understanding of human exposure to PFASs through assessing the half-life of these compounds in human blood serum.



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