CDC and ATSDR announce funding for study of health effects of PFAS in drinking water

April 3, 2019

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) are soliciting research applications to conduct a multi-site study on the human health effects of exposures to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) through drinking water. Proposed study sites must include communities that have current or past presence of PFAS in drinking water.

ATSDR expects to establish cooperative agreements with up to six recipients, with awards ranging from $500,000 to $3 million per recipient. Applications must be submitted electronically no later than 5:00 p.m., ET, on May 30, 2019. Information on how to apply is at

“This study will address the need for additional research on the health effects of exposure to PFAS in drinking water,” said Patrick Breysse, Ph.D., director, CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health, and administrator, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

To examine the association between PFAS and health outcomes, the study researchers will work to recruit at least 2,000 children (ages 4-17) and 6,000 adults (ages 18 and older) from communities who have been exposed to PFAS-contaminated drinking water. The study is designed to gather information about the relationship between PFAS exposure and health outcomes that can be applied to exposed communities across the nation, including those not selected for the study. Understanding the relationship between exposure and health outcomes will allow communities and governmental agencies to make science-based decisions about how to protect public health. The findings will also help prepare people to discuss exposures with their health care providers and take steps to monitor their health, as needed.

Possible candidate sites include, but are not limited to, communities whose drinking water has been or is contaminated by use of aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) used at civilian and military sites or by industrial PFAS emissions. The site selection process will consider the PFAS drinking water concentrations at candidate sites; the duration of exposure; and the number of exposed people. The aim is to select sites with residents who have a wide range of PFAS exposure levels so researchers can identify health effects at different levels of exposure.

The study will examine associations between PFAS compounds and lipids, renal function and kidney disease, thyroid hormones and disease, liver function and disease, glycemic parameters and diabetes, as well as immune response and function in both children and adults. In addition, the study will investigate PFAS differences in sex hormones and sexual maturation, vaccine response, and neurobehavioral outcomes in children. In adults, additional outcomes of interest include cardiovascular disease, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, endometriosis, and autoimmune disease.

CDC has more information