Chitkara University secures approval for PFAS project

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Chitkara University has secured approval and received a grant to study the presence of man-made chemicals in rivers and ground water in Himachal Pradesh.

The 47-lakh grant was sanctioned under the Core Research Grant (CRG) Scheme, Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), and department of science and technology.

The goal of the project is to study the presence of chemicals, known as per and polyfluoroalkyl substances or PFAS in ground and drinking water, which could be key for risk assessment.

Chitkara University, Himachal Pradesh, school of pharmacy professor and principal Nitin Verma said, “In India, there has been little research on PFAS. This initiative could serve as the scientific evidence for regulations. PFAS is a toxic compound, which is found in abundance in our households, and has raised concerns due to its wide use in processes and products and toxic properties that lead to wide dispersion and water pollution. They are very persistent organic pollutants and have heavily contaminated the global environment due to their extreme stability and long half-lives.”

“The toxicity potential of these substances is very severe and will impact multigenerational and learning and cognitive impairment in children. With this project, we would get preliminary data, which would lead us to identify appropriate actions necessary to eliminate the hazard or control it,” he said.

On the lack of research on PFAS in India, Verma said, “People are not aware of the harmful effects of this chemical. Moreover, it is so widely used that replacing the chemical is difficult.”


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