Emerging contaminants training course
Late in August, Geoklock conducted a training course on emerging contaminants for its staff. The course addressed specifically per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which can be found in firefighting foams, water-repellent fabrics, nonstick products and cleaning products. The course was led by LANGAN’s vice-president, Stewart Abrams, and by Adam Hackenberg, a hydrogeologist and senior project manager also at LANGAN. LANGAN is a US-based firm established around 50 years ago, with projects in more than 80 countries and a strong presence in the Real Estate market.
Geoklock’s CTO, Rodrigo Coelho, explained that the course was aimed at providing the company’s professionals with information on PFAS, which is currently the main emerging contaminant focus worldwide. According to Coelho: “We have noted that this issue has been getting more attention in international seminars such as Battelle, in the US. Although this issue has been present for a while, attention over the past couple of years has grown significantly.”
Among other topics, Geoklock’s training course addressed PFAS sampling. Coelho explained: “PFAS sampling is complicated, as reference levels are given in parts per trillion (ppt).”
Studies conducted in the US show that PFAS (which include more than three thousand compounds) have harmful and cumulative effects, although many inconclusive results have been obtained regarding toxicity.
Coelho mentioned that course attendance was high, drawing much interest. LANGAN has a highly specialized team that includes some members of the USEPA’s PFAS committee.
“This training course has brought us to the same level as that of international consultancies. We have acquired knowledge that is currently unavailable in Brazil – and this places Geoklock ahead of other consultancy companies. In 2020, if this issue gets more attention here, we will be prepared to provide this service,” Coelho concluded.