Lansing, MI, October 8th, 2018 -- Since the 1950s, perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have been used worldwide. This large group of manmade chemicals, used by industry and in consumer products, is today found widely in the environment. While some PFAS are no longer made, others are still used in a wide range of products.
According to research on PFAS by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “For decades, they have been used in hundreds of industrial applications and consumer products such as carpeting, apparels, upholstery, food paper wrappings, fire-fighting foams, and metal plating. PFAS have been found at very low levels both in the environment and in the blood samples of the general U.S. population. These chemicals are persistent, and resist degradation in the environment. They also bioaccumulate, meaning their concentration increases over time in the blood and organs. At high concentrations, certain PFAS have been linked to adverse health effects in laboratory animals that may reflect associations between exposure to these chemicals and some health problems such as low birth weight, delayed puberty onset, elevated cholesterol levels, and reduced immunologic responses to vaccination.”
In response to these concerns, the State of Michigan was one of the first states in the nation to establish a clean-up standard for PFAS in groundwater used for drinking water when it launched the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART) in 2017. The California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) also established new PFAS drinking water guidelines for water systems to follow earlier this year.
“While more research is needed, it is known that some PFAS build up in humans and animals and this is a concern for those who could be exposed to these chemicals through the environment, in the workplace, or in the food and water they consume,” said Jeffrey Miller, PhD, CIH® and Chair of ABIH®. “One group of professionals experienced in helping to identify and mitigate environments at risk from these chemicals are Qualified Environmental Professionals (QEPs). The QEP® credential demonstrates a broad understanding of environmental science along with a commitment to high standards of practice and ethics. These dedicated professionals are available to investigate, manage, and mitigate issues associated with environmental hazards.”
To learn more about the Qualified Environmental Professional (QEP®) credential or Environmental Professional In-Training (EPI) designation, or to locate a professional to perform environmental services, visit www.IPEP.org, email ipep@IPEP.org, or call (517) 853-5766.
About the American Board of Industrial Hygiene®
Since 1960, ABIH®, a not-for-profit corporation, has been the world's largest organization for certifying professionals in the practice of industrial hygiene. ABIH® is the premier credentialing body responsible for ensuring high-quality certification including education, experience, examination, certification maintenance, and ethics enforcement. ABIH® administers the Certified Industrial Hygienist® (CIH®) program, the Qualified Environmental Professional (QEP®) credential for established environmental practitioners, and the Environmental Professional In-Training (EPI) designation for early-career practitioners. Currently, more than 7,600 people around the world hold the CIH® credential, QEP® credential, or EPI designation.