PFAS Uptake Studies in Plants, Chicken & Eggs

Plant Uptake Study

Defence is undertaking a study to evaluate how different plants uptake PFAS at a range of different water-based concentrations within a controlled environment. Four greenhouses have been designed and constructed on RAAF Base Williamtown NSW for the study.

Each greenhouse contains an identical range of vegetable plants that are irrigated with six different PFAS concentrations. Two of the concentrations comprise of PFAS impacted groundwater sourced from residential properties located at Oakey QLD and Williamtown NSW.

The plant species were carefully selected based on:
  • species grown and consumed in the Williamtown and Oakey areas
  • genetic diversity
  • hardiness
  • hothouse tolerance
  • compact growing nature
  • use and prevalence as an agricultural crop in Australia
  • consideration of who will consume it, and
  • precedence or use in previous studies
The selected test plants include: radish, beets, rocket, strawberries, alfalfa, cherry tomatoes and cucumber.

The plants will be harvested and submitted for analytical testing and the information gathered from the study will be used to inform the Human Health Risk Assessment and to refine advice regarding the consumption of home-grown produce in the NSW EPA Williamtown Investigation Area and in the QLD Oakey Investigation Area.

Chicken and Egg Uptake Study

Defence is conducting a study to assess and evaluate PFAS residue in eggs, relative to a range of intake rates by chickens, and who are exposed to a range of PFAS concentrations. It will also investigate the rate that PFAS residue decline in eggs if chickens are provided with a PFAS-free drinking water supply.

The information collected from the PFAS Uptake Study will be used to refine the Human Health Risk Assessment and advice regarding the consumption of eggs from backyard chickens.