Tech 101: Forever Chemicals An NDIA Emerging Technologies Institute (ETI) Monthly Tech Webinar Series
3/14/2024 1:00 - 2:00 pm ET
Event Type : Webinar
Event Code : 4R04
In today’s world, we are often bombarded with headlines and nicknames intended to incite unnecessary fear, however, in the case of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), the moniker of “forever chemicals” is quite apt. PFAS are a large group of heat and stain resistant chemicals, first developed in the 1940s. PFAS are used in a wide range of products, including carpet, nonstick cookware, waterproof clothing, and firefighting foam used at airports and military bases. PFAS can persist in the environment, including in water, soil, and air, for decades or longer – quite literally “forever” – and research has shown that most people in the U.S. have been exposed to these toxic chemicals. While there has been a recent push to phase out these chemicals globally, legacy uses and a lack of commercially viable alternatives for certain safety products, such as firefighting foams, have resulted in PFAS contamination in multiple locations across the country. The current focus of research includes identifying and testing technologies and methods to better assess the health risks of these chemicals as well as improve the detection and treatment of PFAS in the environment.
This presentation will discuss the basics of PFAS chemicals and their prevalence, illustrate the importance to and the role of the Department of Defense (DoD) in the management of these chemicals, and efforts underway to replace these chemicals, including requirements to replace DoD’s firefighting foam. Attendees will also get an overview of ongoing DoD and government activities to develop and validate the technologies necessary to address the issue of forever chemicals.