Ep 19 Leisa-Maree Toms QLD QUT PFAS in Blood "We can see in our human biomonitoring that the general population are exposed..."


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By Kayleen Bell. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
This is a fascinating talk with QLD researcher Leisa-Maree Toms from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Brisbane. It was recorded before the Covid-19 lockdown in Australia on the 17/2/2020. Leisa has been involved in human biomonitoring in Australia, looking at a range of contaminants in human blood including PFAS. Blood samples for the human biomonitoring program in Australia were first collected as part of The National Dioxin Program in Australia. Out of curiosity researchers used these samples, first collected in 2002, to have a look for PFAS. They have been monitoring for PFAS since that time. Leisa-Maree explains that the human biomonitoring program looks at background levels in the general population, with its main focus being on PFAS in blood samples collected from people in South East Queensland. However Leisa-Maree has been successful in obtaining funding from a NHMRC grant to broaden her their research to other states and territories of Australia.

Kayleen: "Do you think that the continued monitoring of PFAS chemicals in Australia is an important thing to do, both for background levels, and also individuals?"

Leisa-Maree: "So certainly for background levels, since we have seen this decrease over time. If you want to be comparing occupationally exposed or residentially exposed concentrations you need an up to date background level. So for that reason, it is important to keep monitoring because we have seen a decrease, are we now going to plateau? Are we going to keep on decreasing? Are there secondary exposures that we might be exposed to? Will we see an increase? I think to stay up to date, it is really important to keep that monitoring going."

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