Understanding PFAS: A Major Coastal and Ocean Issue | All Swell?

June 22, 2022

An issue we're going to be hearing much more about!

This episode on All Swell? covers the 3rd National PFAS Conference hosted in Wilmington, NC. Genevieve is joined by two other NC student researchers, Ashley Connors and Krystal Taylor to discuss PFAS, research, advocacy, and environmental justice.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a class of over 9,000 persistent hazardous chemicals used in industrial processes and consumer goods. They are ubiquitous in the environment and in people, who are exposed to PFAS via contaminated food and water, consumer products, and workplaces. Exposure to several PFAS has been linked to a plethora of health effects in both animal and human studies, even at background levels. They are so environmentally persistent that they have been termed “forever chemicals.

Show Transcription
This transcription was generated by a computer. Please excuse any errors.
Genevieve “GG” Guerry, Kyra Hagge, Rory Kuczek, Kathryn Lienhard, and Nat Blackford

American Shoreline Podcast Network teamed up with graduate and professional students from student chapters of The Coastal Society to highlight voices in coastal science and management. Together they’ve created All Swell?, an innovative podcast that dives into current ocean and coastal issues, their potential solutions, and the people leading the way toward a more resilient future. The podcast creators and hosts this year are from East Carolina University and Duke University. Genevieve “GG” Guerry and Kyra Hagge are Ph.D. candidates at East Carolina. GG is interested in public health and aims to work on the public perception of forever chemicals such as PFAS in the Cape Fear watershed and climate migration. Kyra is integrating behavioral economics and social psychology with hydrogeology to tackle questions about pro-environmental behavior and adoption of green technology along the coast of North Carolina. Kathryn Lienhard, Nat Blackford, and Rory Kuczek are Master of Environmental Management students at Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment. Kathryn is interested in coastal resilience, ecosystem restoration, and community engagement. She is currently working at Duke’s Marine Lab in Beaufort, NC. Nat is interested in how we manage our coastal ecosystems - from coastal forests to marshes to seagrass meadows. These coastal environments are some of the most densely populated areas on the planet, have huge ecological and cultural significance, and sequester and store large amounts of carbon. Aurora Kuczek, is a master of Environmental Management student at Duke University studying Ecosystem Science and Conservation. She is interested in coastal restoration, particularly as it relates to wildlife conservation, and how local communities can get involved in restoration processes to make real change for their environments they are closely intertwined with and rely upon to survive.