Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances

Group members in BOLD

Drinking Water Contamination

B.J. Ruyle, C.P. Thackray, C.M. Butt, D.R. LeBlanc, A.K. Tokranov, C.D. Vecitis, E.M. Sunderland. 2023. Centurial persistence of forever chemicals at military fire training sites. Environmental Science & Technology. 57(21):8096-8106.

B.J. Ruyle, L. Schultes, D.M. Acob, C.R. Harris, M.M. Lorah, S. Vojta, J. Becanova, S. McCann, H.M. Pickard, A. Pearson, R. Lohmann, C.D. Vecitis, E.M. Sunderland. 2023. Nitrifying microorganisms linked to biotransformation of perfluoroalkyl sulfonamido precursors from legacy aqueous film-forming foams. Environmental Science & Technology. 57(14): 5592-5602.

A.K. Tokranov, D. LeBlanc, H.M. Pickard, B.J. Ruyle, L.B. Barber, R.B. Hull, E.M. Sunderland, C.D. Vecitis. 2021. Surface-water/groundwater boundaries affect seasonal PFAS concentrations and PFAA precursor transformations. Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts. 23, 1893-1905.

X.C. Hu, B. Ge, B. Ruyle, J. Sun, E.M. Sunderland. 2021. A statistical approach for identifying private wells susceptible to PFAS contamination. Environmental Science & Technology Letters.  8(7), 596-602. [pdf] [SI]

A. Weber, L. Barber, D. LeBlanc, E.M. Sunderland, C.D. Vecitis. 2017. Geochemical and hydrologic factors controlling subsurface transport of poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Environmental Science and Technology. 51(8): 4269-4279. [full text] Link to USGS story on paper here.

X.C. Hu, D. Andrews, A.B. Lindstrom, T.A. Bruton, L.A. Schaider, P. Grandjean, R. Lohmann, C.C. Carignan, A. Blum, S.A. Balan, C. Higgins, E.M. Sunderland. 2016. Detection of poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in U.S. drinking water linked to industrial sites, military fire training areas and wastewater treatment plants. Environmental Science and Technology Letters. 3(10): 344-350.

Marine Pollution, Bioaccumulation and Wildlife Exposure

H.M. Pickard, B.J. Ruyle, C.P. Thackray, A. Chovancova, C. Dassuncao, J. Becanova, S. Vojta, R. Lohmann, E.M. Sunderland. 2022. PFAS and precursor bioaccumulation in freshwater recreational fish: Implications for fish advisories. Environmental Science & Technology. 56(22): 15573-15583.

J.M. Sun, B.C. Kelly, F.A.P.C. Gobas, E.M. Sunderland. 2022. A food web bioaccumulation model for the accumulation of poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in fish: How important is renal elimination? Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts. 24(8), 1152-1164. [pdf]

H. Joerss, Z. Xie, C.C. Wagner, W-J von Appen, E.M. Sunderland, R. Ebinghaus. 2020. Transport of legacy perfluoroalkyl substances and the replacement compound HFPO-DA through the Atlantic gateway to the Arctic Ocean – Is the Arctic a sink or a source? Environmental Science & Technology. 54(16), 9958-9967. [pdf]

X. Zhang, R. Lohmann, E.M. Sunderland. 2019. Poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in seawater and plankton from the Northwestern Atlantic Margin. Environmental Science & Technology. 53 (21), 12348-12356. [pdf]

C. Dassuncao, H. Pickard, M. Pfohl, A.K. Tokranov, M. Li, B. Mikkelsen, A. Slitt, E.M. Sunderland. 2019. Phospholipid levels predict tissue distribution of poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances in a marine mammal. Environmental Science & Technology Letters. 6(3): 119-125. [pdf]

X. Zhang, Y. Zhang, C. Dassuncao, R. Lohmann, E.M. Sunderland. 2017. North Atlantic deep water formation inhibits high Arctic contamination by continental perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) discharges. Global Biogeochemical Cycles. 31(8): 1332-1343. [full text]

L. Yeung, C. Dassuncao, S. Maybury, E.M. Sunderland, X. Zhang, R. Lohmann. 2017. Vertical profiles, sources, and transport of PFASs in the Arctic Ocean. Environmental Science and Technology. 51(12): 6735-6744. [full text]

C. Dassuncao, X.C. Hu, X. Zhang, R. Bossi, M. Dam, B. Mikkelsen, E.M. Sunderland. 2017. Temporal shifts in poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in North Atlantic pilot whales indicate large contribution of atmospheric precursors. Environmental Science and Technology. 51(8): 4512-4521. [full text]


Human Exposure

J.M. Liddie, L.A. Schaider, E.M. Sunderland. Sociodemographic factors are associated with the abundance of PFAS sources and detection in U.S. community water systems. Environmental Science & Technology. 57(21):7902-7912.

A.S. Young, H.M. Pickard, E.M. Sunderland, J.G. Allen. 2022. Organic fluorine as an indicator of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in dust from buildings with healthier versus conventional materials. Environmental Science & Technology. 56(23), 17090-17.

A.S. Young, E.H. Sparer-Fine, H.M. Pickard, E.M. Sunderland, G.F. Peaslee, J.G. Allen. 2021. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and total fluorine in fire station dust. Journal of Exposure Sciennce & Environmental Epidemiology. [pdf]

X.C. Hu, A.K. Tokranov, J. Liddie, X. Zhang, P. Grandjean, J.E. Hart, F. Laden, Q. Sun, L.W.Y. Yeung, E.M. Sunderland. 2019. Tap water contributions to plasma concentrations of poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in a nationwide prospective cohort of U.S. women. Environmental Health Perspectives. [pdf] [SI]

A.K. Tokranov, N. Nishizawa, C.A. Amadei, J.E. Zenobio, H.M. Pickard, J.G. Allen, C.D. Vecitis, E.M. Sunderland. 2019. How do we measure the poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) at the surface of consumer products? Environmental Science & Technology Letters. 6(1): 38-43. [pdf]

Reducing PFAS exposure one plate at a time

  • Article on our paper conducted in collaboration with the Harvard University Office for Sustainability on PFASs in consumer products on campus led by undergraduate Nicole Nishizawa ('19) and PhD student Andrea Tokranov ('19).

B. Eryasa, P. Grandjean, F. Nielsen, D. Valvi, D. Zmirou-Navier, E. Sunderland, P. Weihe, Y. Oulhote. 2019. Physico-chemical properties and gestational diabetes predict transplacental transfer and partitioning of perfluoroalkyl substances. Environment International. 130: 104874. [pdf]

C. Dassuncao, X.C. Hu, F. Nielsen, P. Weihe, P. Grandjean, E.M. Sunderland. 2018. Shifting global exposures to poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances evident in longitudinal birth cohorts from a seafood consuming population. Environmental Science and Technology. 52(6): 3738-3747. [full text]


Statistical Fingerprinting of Sources

B. Ruyle, H. Pickard, D. LeBlannc, A. Tokranov, C.P. Thackray, X.C. Hu, C.D. Vecitis, E.M. Sunderland. 2021. Isolating the AFFF signature in coastal watersheds using oxidizable PFAS precursors and unexplained organofluorine. Environmental Science & Technology. 55(6): 3686-3695. [pdf] [SI] [xls]

B. Ruyle, C.P. Thackray, J.P. McCord, M.J. Strynar, K.A. Mauge-Lewis, S.E. Fenton, E.M. Sunderland. 2021. Reconstructing the composition of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in contemporary aqueous-film forming foams. Environmental Science & Technology Letters. 8(1): 59-65 [pdf]

X.C. Hu, C. Dassuncao, X. Zhang, P. Grandjean, P. Weihe, G.M. Webster, F. Nielsen, E.M. Sunderland. 2018. Can profiles of poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in human serum provide information on major exposure sources? Environmental Health. 17 (1):11. DOI: 10.1186/s12940-018-0355-4. [full text]

X. Zhang, R. Lohmann, C. Dassuncao, X.C. Hu, A. Weber, C.D. Vecitis, E.M. Sunderland. 2016. Source attribution of poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances in surface waters from Rhode Island and the New York Metropolitan Area. Environmental Science and Technology Letters. 3(9): 316-321. [pdf]


Editorial & Reviews

R. Lohmann, E.M. Sunderland. 2021. Emerging questions in exposure, regulation, and remediation of PFAS. iScience. 24:9. [pdf]

A.O. De Silva, J.M Armitage, T.A Bruton, C. Dassuncao, W. Heiger‐Bernays, X.C. Hu, Anna Kärrman, B. Kelly, C. Ng, A. Robuck, M. Sun, T.F. Webster, E.M. Sunderland. 2021. PFAS Exposure Pathways for Humans and Wildlife: A Synthesis of Current Knowledge and Key Gaps in Understanding. Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry.  40(3): 631-657. [pdf]

E.M. Sunderland, X.C. Hu, C. Dassuncao, C.C. Wagner, A.K. Tokranov, J.G. Allen. 2019. A review of the pathways of human exposure to poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) and present understanding of health effects. Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology. 29, 131–147. [pdf]

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Sunderland Lab

Group Administrator: Robert Stanhope

Address: 29 Oxford Street, Cambridge MA 02138

E-mail:  stanhope [at]