New facility photos and Congress briefing on “forever chemicals”

Progress at 300 Washington Rd.

New updates include the installation of an exhaust fan (back of the facility) and the pouring of the concrete pad for the adjacent wood shed

Concrete pad for the foundation of the wood shed that will store the carbon feedstocks for composting operations. A smaller “hoop” structure will cover the footprint

Jaffé briefs Congress on “forever chemicals”

Peter Jaffé
William L. Knapp ’47 Professor of Civil Engineering
Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Meanwhile… Testifying before Congress, Professor Peter Jaffé called on the federal government to support research into and mitigation of chemicals called PFAS, or “forever chemicals” because of the time they take to break down in the environment. Earlier this year, the ComPOSTer interviewed Dr. Jaffé about his research to mitigate PFAS contamination and to remove the chemical from groundwater and the environment. Dr. Jaffé recommended that Congress direct more funding into research on the forever chemicals, arguing that a better understanding of their impacts will help with mitigation.

Read more about Dr. Jaffe’s testimony and find the full briefing here:

In Context: PFAS & Compost

In a recent BioCycle column, Dr. Sally Brown shows how the biggest risk of exposure to PFAS comes from direct exposure pathways to dust, cosmetics, cookware and packaging (including the food that touches both). As a result, PFAS ends up inn compost but concentrations are much lower than those in many household products. Dr. Brown argues that the manufacturing of products with PFAS should be restricted to prevent the direct exposure to these chemicals, instead of restrictions being placed on down-stream sources of PFAS like compost. The compostable food packaging industry is currently testing and developing viable alternatives that don’t include PFAS so these chemicals don’t end up in composts in the first place. However they are currently not widely available or in limited supply.