Conference will tackle 'forever chemicals' solutions for packaging industry

Logos: Iowa State University Polymer and Food Protection Consortium, Green Bay Innovation Group, Grainger Institute for Engineering/University of Wisconsin-Madison

AMES, Iowa - A one-day conference, PFAS: Impact on the Planet and Solutions for the Packaging Industry, will be held Nov. 2, in Madison, Wisconsin. 

PFAS is an acronym for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, often referred to as “forever chemicals” because they linger almost permanently in air, water and soil. Found in food wrappers, drinking straws, cosmetics, carpet, furniture and textiles such as raincoats or workout clothes, some PFAS chemicals have been linked to cancers and a variety of other health problems. 

The conference co-sponsors are the Polymer and Food Protection Consortium at Iowa State University, the Green Bay Innovation Group and the Grainger Institute for Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“This event has been organized at the request of state representatives, industry partners, law firms and multiple academic institutions to help better understand issues with PFAS and to help clear up some of the misconceptions, including limitations of testing,” said Keith Vorst, director of the Polymer and Food Protection Consortium and an associate professor of food science and human nutrition.

Vorst will be one of the speakers at the event, along with Greg Curtzwiler, assistant professor of food science and human nutrition at Iowa State, who also works with the consortium. Both have become nationally recognized experts on PFAS in packaging.

Other presenters include representatives of the Food and Drug Administration, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Notre Dame. One of the leading law firms handling PFAS-related litigation will also speak at the event.

The conference will be located at the Sheraton Conference Center, 706 John Nolen Drive. It is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. Registration fees include lunch and parking. Attendance will be limited, and those interested are encouraged to register as soon as possible. Find more details and  registration information on the conference website.  


Katie Updegraff, Polymer and Food Protection Consortium, 515-294-0643,