‘Forever chemicals’ expert Marta Venier to speak at Wright State’s virtual Carmichael Lecture April 19

Marta Venier is an assistant professor at the Paul O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University.

A national expert on “forever chemicals,” whose presence in the air and water pose health threats to humans and wildlife, will be the featured speaker at the virtual Wayne Carmichael Lecture in Environmental Sciences hosted by Wright State University on Monday, April 19.

Environmental chemist Marta Venier is an assistant professor at the Paul O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. She employs analytical chemistry and mass spectrometry techniques to study the transport and behavior of persistent organic pollutants. She also leads the Integrated Atmospheric Deposition Network, a monitoring program funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The April 19 lecture will take place on Webex from 1:25 to 2:20 p.m. It will be recorded for those who want to view it later.

Per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), so-called “forever chemicals,” are a group of more than 5,000 man-made chemicals. They can be found in firefighting foam, water-repellent fabrics, nonstick products, waxes, polishes and some food packaging, according to the U.S. EPA.

Studies suggest that exposure to high levels of PFAS may impact the immune system and might lead to high cholesterol levels, increased risk of kidney and testicular cancer and increased risk of high blood pressure in pregnant women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“I will give a broad overview about PFAS, including sources, fate and transport and regulation,” said Venier. “In particular I will present the concept of treating PFAS as a class for regulatory purposes. I will then present research conducted in my laboratory that examines the presence of PFAS in consumer products and environmental compartments, including air and bald eagles.”

Dayton supplies drinking water to more than 400,000 people. The Buried Valley Aquifer, which has about 1.5 trillion gallons of water, stretches from Logan to Hamilton counties, providing most communities in the region with drinking water.

The U.S. EPA will begin regulating PFAS in drinking water. In addition, the Ohio EPA has started testing the state’s 1,500 public water systems for PFAS.

Prior to Venier’s lecture, graduate and undergraduate students can meet with Venier in small group settings. Following the lecture, there will be opportunities for one-on-one meetings with her.

The lecture is sponsored by Wright State’s Environmental Sciences Ph.D. Program and Pi Epsilon, the environmental sciences honor society. The annual lecture is named in honor of Wayne Carmichael, the first director of the Environmental Sciences Ph.D. Program.

Questions about the event can be directed to Don Cipollini, professor of biological sciences, at don.cipollini@wright.edu.

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