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Perfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS): What Are the Risks and Who Is Liable?

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 61 minutes
Recorded Date: June 13, 2018
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  • Perfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Overview
  • Long-Chain PFAS
  • Short-Chain PFAS
  • Class B Firefighting Foams
Runtime: 1 hour
Recorded: June 13, 2018


PFAS are coming under closer regulation and have faced liability concerns recently—take this program to learn what you need to know about them.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a diverse group of man-made compounds resistant to heat, water, and oil, and are used in all sorts of industrial and consumer products such as carpeting, apparel, upholstery, food wrapping papers, fire-fighting foams, and metal plating. PFAS also are persistent, resist degradation, and have been found at very low levels both in the environment and in the blood samples of the general U.S. population. There is concern that at higher levels PFAS can cause health issues, so they have recently become subject to stricter regulation and liability issues.

This program was recorded on June 13th, 2018.

Provided By

American Bar Association
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Rachel Tallon Reynolds

Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP

Rachel Reynolds is a partner in the Seattle office of Lewis Brisbois and a member of the Toxic Tort & Environmental Litigation, Products Liability and General Liability Practices. Ms. Reynolds acts as counsel for a variety of asbestos defendants including product manufacturers, premises owners, and suppliers. She was selected to the invitation-only Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel, and serves as the current President-Elect of the Washington Defense Trial Attorneys. Ms. Reynolds was named a Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers Magazine in 2018 and a Rising Star every year from 2013-2017.

An experienced first chair trial attorney, Rachel prides herself on providing creative solutions to legal challenges. Having grown up in a small town and then traveling the world as a member of the U.S. Army, Rachel is uniquely able to connect with people from all walks of life. This skill serves her well when persuading jurors, deposing witnesses, or managing all aspects of complex litigation.

Rachel began her career as a Deputy District Attorney in Southern California, where she was named a "Prosecutor of the Year." She has represented clients in the Washington, Oregon and California appellate courts and in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

In addition to asbestos litigation, Ms. Reynolds has represented multinational oil companies in environmental litigation, automotive, personal watercraft, and appliance manufacturers in product liability matters, and trucking and transportation companies in catastrophic injury cases.

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Angela Perez

Senior Health Scientist

Dr. Angela (Angie) Perez is a Senior Toxicologist with over 8 years of consulting experience in applied toxicology, exposure assessment, and human health risk assessment. Dr. Perez completed her PhD in Toxicology at Oregon State University where her research included the study of metal accumulation in crops for consumption following repeated input of agricultural products. She also studied elemental and stable isotope ratio profiling of foods to verify country of origin, a tool used to command accountability in the safety, production, and distribution of the global food supply. Dr. Perez participated in field sampling and analysis legacy contaminants in aquatic systems in the Portland Harbor Superfund site and contributed to large, multiparty stakeholder group discussions.

Dr. Perez has conducted field research in soils and waters, and has performed bulk and leachability testing on numerous consumer products, including toys, cosmetics, fabric/textiles, and heavy equipment. She has over 30 published articles and abstracts on the topics of asbestos, triclosan, metals, phthalates, styrene, volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), and decision analysis tools for chemical hazard prioritization.

More recently, Dr. Perez has served as a testifying and consulting expert on cases involving chemical exposure and potential risk, including asbestos, metals, phthalates, benzene, carbon monoxide, antimicrobials (triclosan, triclocarban), poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (e.g., PFOA, PFOS), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE). She is an expert in the topic of marijuana toxicology as it relates to impairment and in assessing risk from exposure to contaminants in cannabis products.

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