About the Study

SAFEwater-NC is a research study evaluating the exposures and health effects of chemical contaminants on Alligators and Fish in North Carolina waters.

The aim of our study is to assess the levels and impacts of man-made chemical contaminants and industrial pollutants found in waters of North Carolina.

SAFEwater-NC is being led by the lab of Scott Belcher at NC State University and is primarily focused on understanding the toxicity and harm resulting from exposures to poly and perfluoroalkyl alkyl substances (often referred to as PFAS).

The objectives of the study are:

1) Characterize levels of PFAS in the blood of American alligators, striped bass, catfish and other fishes from different sites along the Cape Fear River and other North Carolina waters

2) Determine the relationship between individual and total PFAS in each species and indicators of adverse health effects

3) The resulting exposure and health data will be compared with human health and exposure data to better understand how humans and wildlife are exposed to PFAS, how these chemicals accumulate in the body, and how they harm the health of wildlife and humans

4) Work with community partners to broadly communicate findings of our studies to the public, non-government organizations, the scientific community, and to government regulatory agencies.