Speaker: Youn Jeong Choi, PhD, Analytical Chemist, Purdue University
Moderator: Bryan Staley, PhD, PE, President and CEO, Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF)
With companies and product manufacturers aiming to increase their “green footprints,” usage of compostable utensils, food packaging and containers continues to increase. When added to soil as an amendment, compostable materials, such as yard waste, food waste and compostable food packaging, can offer a number of benefits including improved soil tilth and decreased need for fertilizers.
However, recent research has suggested that some compostable materials contain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Given the widespread use of PFAS in a variety of consumer products, it is not surprising that these substances have been found in compostable materials and therefore compost. The extent to which PFAS impacts compost is important to understand due to its use as a soil amendment.
Dr. Youn Jeong Choi at Purdue University has published some of the only research on this topic. During this Science Session, Dr. Choi will discuss:
- PFAS in compost
- Why PFAS is being detected
- What types of compounds are present
- The fate of PFAS in compost
- PFAS in biosolids