December 6, 2020

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Jason Conder and Jennifer Arblaster Coauthored an Article on Assessing Human Health Risks from Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substance (PFAS)-Impacted Vegetable Consumption for Environmental Science & Technology

Jason Conder, Ph.D., (California) and Jennifer Arblaster (Vermont) coauthored an article entitled “Assessing Human Health Risks from Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substance (PFAS)-Impacted Vegetable Consumption: A Tiered Modeling Approach” for publication in Environmental Science & Technology on November 17, 2020.

Jason and Jennifer’s coauthors were Christopher Higgins and Juliane Brown, Colorado School of Mines.

Jason Conder is a Principal Scientist based in California with more than 15 years of experience focused on risk assessment and contaminated sediments in contaminated site assessment and management, environmental toxicology, and ecological and human health risk assessment.

Jennifer Arblaster is a Project Scientist based in Vermont with experience in ecological and human health risk assessment, sediment site characterization, bioaccumulation modeling and evaluation of environmental quality criteria.

Environmental Science & Technology (ES&T) is an environmental science and technology research journal that aims to be transformational and direction-setting, publishing rigorous and robust papers for a multidisciplinary and diverse audience of scientists, policy makers, and the broad environmental community. The journal advances rigorous scholarship on complex environmental phenomena, particularly with respect to fate, transport, and transformation in natural and engineered systems, while simultaneously facilitating the solution of critical environmental problems. In addition to novelty and significance of research, ES&T considers the relevance of submitted manuscripts to its broad readership.

ACS Publications’ commitment to publishing high-quality research continues to attract impactful research from top authors around the globe. They continue to expand their offerings and improve their existing resources to help scientists accelerate their research and support their careers.


Irrigation water or soil contaminated with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) raises concerns among regulators tasked with protecting human health from potential PFAS-contaminated food crops, with several studies identifying crop uptake as an important exposure pathway. We estimated daily dietary exposure intake of individual PFASs in vegetables for children and adults using Monte Carlo simulation in a tiered stochastic modeling approach: exposures were the highest for young children (1–2 years > adults > 3–5 years > 6–11 years > 12–19 years). Using the lowest available human health toxicity reference values (RfDs) and no additional exposure, estimated fifth percentile risk-based threshold concentrations in irrigation water were 38 ng/L (median 180 ng/L) for perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) and 140 ng/L (median 850 ng/L) for perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS). Thus, consumption of vegetables irrigated with PFAS-impacted water that meets the current 70 ng/L of PFOA and PFOS U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s lifetime health advisory for drinking water may or may not be protective of vegetable exposures to these contaminants. Hazard analyses using real-world PFAS-contaminated groundwater data for a hypothetical farm showed estimated exposures to most PFASs exceeding available or derived RfDs, indicating water-to-crop transfer is an important exposure pathway for communities with PFAS-impacted irrigation water.

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For consultation regarding PFAS, contact Jason Conder at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Jennifer Arblaster at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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