PERFORCE3 Webinar. The total oxidizable precursor assay (TOPA): From research to regulation

The decades-long production and use of a broad variety of PFAS in industrial applications, firefighting activities and consumer products has resulted in increasing contamination of the environment including groundwater and drinking water supplies throughout Europe.

A considerable proportion of European citizens is expected to exceed the tolerable weekly intake (TWI) due to intake of legacy PFAS from food and drinking water. The human exposure to PFAS by consumer products is expected to be still an important factor as well, due to the large number of known PFAS applications still in use. Existing data on environmental levels, bioaccumulation and human exposure of novel PFAS and exposure time-trends are however scarce, thereby hampering environmental fate mapping and systematic estimation of human exposure to PFASs as a group and consequently proper risk assessment and management.

New analytical tools are required to tackle the challenge of analyzing 100s of PFAS compounds per sample, many of them either of unknown identity or lacking commercially available standards. The total oxidizable precursor assay (TOPA) offers an approach to evaluate the presence of both known and unknown PFAS precursors in a variety of sample matrices.

In this webinar we will introduce the concept of TOPA, detail the use of TOPA for identifying the presence and class of PFAS precursors, and outline some limitations to the approach. We will follow up with some thoughts on TOPA as a potential tool for PFAS regulation under REACH, and invite to lively discussion on the topic with the presenters.

This is a public webinar, no registration necessary!

Zoom link:

Introduction of speaker by Moderator (Jon Benskin)
Dorte Herzke: Introduction in the concept of TOPA
Lara Cioni: TOPA as a tool for identifying the presence and the type of a multitude of PFAS precursors
Lena Vierke: TOPA and regulation of PFAS – experiences from the REACH perspective
Panel Discussion
Closing Remarks

About the Speakers:

Dr. Dorte Herzke (NILU)

Dr. Dorte Herzke is working as a senior researcher at NILU – Norwegian Institute for Air Research. She is an environmental and analytical chemist, involved in PFAS research for more than 15 years. She is also an Ass. Prof II at the University of Tromsø. Her main research interest are sources, environmetal occurrence and fate of the whole PFAS class, including human exposure.

Dr. Lena Vierke (UBA)

Dr. Lena Vierke is working as scientific officer at the German Environment Agency (UBA, Umweltbundesamt). She joined the agency in 2011 and has been involved in some of the regulations of PFAS under REACH. Besides her work in UBA´s chemicals unit she is also responsible for EU relations with special interest in the “Zero Pollution Ambition”.

Lara Cioni (NILU)

Lara Cioni is an Early Stage Researcher in the PERFORCE3 ITN working at the Norwegian Institute for Air Research in Tromsø. She completed her bachelor’s and master’s degree in Chemistry at the University of Florence focusing on the field of environmental and analytical chemistry. She is currently working on the development of the Total Oxidizable Precursors Assay for human plasma.