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What is the Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Testing Network (PFAST)?

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of anthropogenically-derived organic compounds used in many industrial and consumer goods. There is a growing number of PFAS that have been identified in use that currently stands at greater than 9,000. In 2016, researchers from North Carolina State University and the United States Environmental Protection Agency detected elevated levels of GenX and other PFAS in the Cape Fear River in North Carolina. The river is the major drinking water supply for many residents in New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender counties thus exposing residents to high levels of PFAS.

After the discovery of PFAS in the drinking water supply, the North Carolina Collaboratory, with appropriations from the North Carolina General Assembly, established the NC PFAST network. The network leverages the expertise, analytical instrumentation and technology that exists in the public and private North Carolina higher education institutions to study PFAS toxicology, occurrence in drinking water, atmospheric transformations/occurrence and removal technologies.

Affiliated Projects

  • Researchers who are part of the NC Pure Project have developed a technology that efficiently removes PFAS from water.