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Person Details: Elsie M. Sunderland

Superfund Research Program

Elsie M. Sunderland

Harvard School of Public Health

Phone: 617-496-0858


Research Briefs


  • Sunderland EM, Wagner CC. The global chemical experiment. In: Earth 2020: An insider's guide to a rapidly changing planet.


  • Fischer F, Ludtke S, Thackray CP, Pickard HM, Haque F, Dassuncao C, Endo S, Schaider L, Sunderland EM. 2024. Binding of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to serum proteins: Implications for toxicokinetics in humans. Environ Sci Technol 58(2):1055-1063. doi:10.1021/acs.est.3c07415 PMID:38166384
  • Pickard HM, Haque F, Sunderland EM. 2024. Bioaccumulation of perfluoroalkyl sulfonamides (FASA). Environ Sci Technol Lett doi:10.1021/acs.estlett.4c00143


  • Dai M, Geyman BM, Hu XC, Thackray CP, Sunderland EM. 2023. Sociodemographic disparities in mercury exposure from United States coal-fired power plants. Environ Sci Technol Lett doi:10.1021/acs.estlett.3c00216
  • Liddie J, Schaider L, Sunderland EM. 2023. Sociodemographic factors are associated with the abundance of PFAS sources and detection in U.S. community water systems. Environ Sci Technol 57(21):7902-7912. doi:10.1021/acs.est.2c07255 PMID:37184106 PMCID:PMC10233791
  • Ruyle BJ, Pickard HM, Schultes L, Fredriksson F, Heffernan AL, Knappe D, Lord HL, Meng P, Mills MA, Ndunga K, Roesch P, Rundberget JT, Tettenhorst DR, Van Buren J, Vogel C, Westerman DC, Yeung LW, Sunderland EM. 2023. Interlaboratory comparison of extractable organofluorine measurements in groundwater and eel (Anguilla rostrata): recommendations for methods standardization. Environ Sci Technol 57(48):20159-20168. doi:10.1021/acs.est.3c04560 PMID:37934924 PMCID:PMC10702518
  • Ruyle BJ, Thackray CP, Butt CM, LeBlanc DR, Tokranov AK, Vecitis CD, Sunderland EM. 2023. Centurial persistence for forever chemicals at military fire training sites. Environ Sci Technol 57(21):8096-8106. doi:10.1021/acs.est.3c00675 PMID:37184088 PMCID:PMC10233753


  • Hu XC, Dai M, Sun JM, Sunderland EM. 2022. The utility of machine learning models for predicting chemical contaminants in drinking water: promise, challenges, and opportunities. Curr Environ Health Rep doi:10.1007/s40572-022-00389-x PMID:36527604
  • Sun JM, Kelly B, Gobas FA, Sunderland EM. 2022. A food web bioaccumulation model for the accumulation of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in fish: how important is renal elimination?. Environ Sci Process Impacts 13:doi:10.1039/d2em00047d PMID:35678632


  • Bhatia M, Specht AJ, Ramya V, Sulaiman D, Konda M, Balcom PH, Sunderland EM, Qureshi A. 2021. Portable x-ray fluorescence as a rapid determination tool to detect parts per million levels of Ni, Zn, As, Se, and Pb in human toenails: A South India case study. Environ Sci Technol 55:13113-13121. doi:10.1021/acs.est.1c00937 PMID:34529917 PMCID:PMC8582015
  • De Silva AO, Armitage JM, Bruton TA, Dassuncao C, Heiger-Bernays WJ, Hu XC, Karrman A, Kelly B, Ng CA, Robuck AR, Sun M, Webster TF, Sunderland EM. 2021. PFAS exposure pathways for humans and wildlife: A synthesis of current knowledge and key gaps in understanding. Environ Toxicol Chem 40(3):631-657. doi:10.1002/etc.4935 PMID:33201517 PMCID:PMC7906948
  • Ruyle BJ, Pickard HM, LeBlanc DR, Tokranov AK, Thackray CP, Hu XC, Vecitis CD, Sunderland EM. 2021. Isolating the AFFF signature in coastal watersheds using oxidizable PFAS precursors and unexplained organofluorine. Environ Sci Technol 55(6):3686-3695. doi:10.1021/acs.est.0c07296 PMID:33667081
  • Ruyle BJ, Thackray CP, McCord JP, Strynar M, Mauge-Lewis KA, Fenton SE, Sunderland EM. 2021. Reconstructing the composition of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in contemporary aqueous film-forming foams. Environ Sci Technol Lett 8:59-65. doi:10.1021/acs.estlett.0c00798 PMID:33628855 PMCID:PMC7898139
  • Tokranov AK, LeBlanc DR, Pickard HM, Ruyle BJ, Barber LB, Hull RB, Sunderland EM, Vecitis CD. 2021. Surface-water/groundwater boundaries affect seasonal PFAS concentrations and PFAA precursor transformations. Environ Sci Process Impacts 13:PMID:34779453
  • Young AS, Sparer-Fine EH, Pickard HM, Sunderland EM, Peaslee GF, Allen JG. 2021. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and total fluorine in fire station dust. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol 31(5):doi:10.1038/s41370-021-00288-7 PMID:33542478 (ahead of print)


  • Joerss H, Xie Z, Wagner CC, von Appen W, Sunderland EM, Ebinghaus R. 2020. Transport of legacy perfluoroalkyl substances and the replacement compound HFPO-DA through the Atlantic gateway to the Arctic Ocean - is the Arctic a sink or a source?. Environ Sci Technol 54(16):9958-9967. doi:10.1021/acs.est.0c00228 PMID:32806910


  • Dassuncao C, Pickard HM, Pfohl M, Tokranov AK, Li M, Mikkelsen B, Slitt AL, Sunderland EM. 2019. Phospholipid levels predict the tissue distribution of poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances in a marine mammal. Environ Sci Technol Lett 6(3):119-125. doi:10.1021/acs.estlett.9b00031
  • Eryasa B, Grandjean P, Nielsen F, Valvi D, Zmirou-Navier D, Sunderland EM, Weihe P, Oulhote Y. 2019. Physico-chemical properties and gestational diabetes predict transplacental transfer and partitioning of perfluoroalkyl substances. Environ Int 130:doi:10.1016/j.envint.2019.05.068 PMID:31200157 PMCID:PMC7029428
  • Hu XC, Tokranov AK, Liddie J, Zhang X, Grandjean P, Hart JE, Laden F, Sun Q, Yeung LW, Sunderland EM. 2019. Tap water contributions to plasma concentrations of poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in a nationwide prospective cohort of U.S. women. Environ Health Perspect doi:10.1289/EHP4093 PMID:31170009 PMCID:PMC6792361
  • Sunderland EM, Hu XC, Dassuncao C, Tokranov AK, Wagner CC, Allen JG. 2019. A review of the pathways of human exposure to poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) and present understanding of health effects. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol 29:131-147. doi:10.1038/s41370-018-0094-1 PMID:30470793 PMCID:PMC6380916
  • Tokranov AK, Nishizawa N, Amadei CA, Zenobio JE, Pickard HM, Allen JG, Vecitis CD, Sunderland EM. 2019. How do we measure poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) at the surface of consumer products?. Environ Sci Technol Lett 6(1):38-43. doi:10.1021/acs.estlett.8b00600
  • Zhang X, Lohmann R, Sunderland EM. 2019. Poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances in seawater and plankton from the Northwestern Atlantic Margin. Environ Sci Technol 53:12348-12356. doi:10.1021/acs.est.9b03230 PMID:31565932 PMCID:PMC6992416


  • Dassuncao C, Hu XC, Nielsen F, Weihe P, Grandjean P, Sunderland EM. 2018. Shifting global exposures to poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) evident in longitudinal birth cohorts from a seafood-consuming population. Environ Sci Technol 52:3738-3747. doi:10.1021/acs.est.7b06044 PMID:29516726 PMCID:PMC6438388
  • Hu XC, Dassuncao C, Zhang X, Grandjean P, Weihe P, Webster GM, Nielsen F, Sunderland EM. 2018. Can profiles of poly- and Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in human serum provide information on major exposure sources?. Environ Health 17:11. doi:10.1186/s12940-018-0355-4 PMID:29391068 PMCID:PMC5796515
  • Obrist D, Kirk JL, Zhang L, Sunderland EM, Jiskra M, Selin NE. 2018. A review of global environmental mercury processes in response to human and natural perturbations: Changes of emissions, climate, and land use. Ambio 47:198-215. doi:10.1007/s13280-017-1004-9 PMID:29388126 PMCID:PMC5794683



  • Chen CY, Driscoll CT, Lambert KF, Mason RP, Sunderland EM. 2016. Connecting mercury science to policy: from sources to seafood. Rev Environ Health 31(1):17-20. doi:10.1515/reveh-2015-0044 PMID:26820177 PMCID:PMC4832595
  • Lindstrom AB, Bruton TA, Schaider LA, Grandjean P, Carignan C, Blum A, Higgins CP, Sunderland EM, Hu XC, Andrews DQ, Lohmann R, Balan SA. 2016. Detection of poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in US drinking water linked to industrial sites, military fire training areas, and wastewater treatment plants. Environ Sci Technol Lett 3(10):344-350. doi:10.1021/acs.estlett.6b00260 PMID:27752509 PMCID:PMC5062567
  • Sunderland EM, Driscoll CT, Hammitt JK, Grandjean P, Evans J, Blum JD, Chen CY, Evers DC, Jaffe D, Mason RP, Goho S, Jacobs W. 2016. Benefits of regulating hazardous air pollutants from coal and oil-fired utilities in the United States. Environ Sci Technol 50(5):2117-2120. doi:10.1021/acs.est.6b00239 PMID:26848613


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