From pesticides to PFAS: the challenges of newer chemicals classes in research and in their regulation in California

The newer generations of chemicals such as pesticides or forever chemicals (PFAS) are often touted as toxicologically safer with less environmental persistence. However, emerging research evidence revealed that newer generations pesticides such as neonicotinoids still display off-target despite being engineered to target the insect nAChR receptor. Similarly, shorter chain PFAS have been promoted as safer alternatives to the toxic, ubiquitous, and persistent longer-chain, legacy PFAS. However, these shorter chain PFAS also show remarkable biological and toxicological activity casting doubt on the validity of proposed regulation of PFAS by chemical class. In this presentation, we will review some of the emerging toxicological evidence on these two types of chemicals and discuss the challenges and limits of their regulation, specifically within the context of California.

With Patrick Allard (UCLA), visiting scientist in Montpellier until June 2024.