Graham Peaslee

Experimental Nuclear Physics

Office
224 Nieuwland Science Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556
Phone
574-631-7554
Email
gpeaslee@nd.edu
Website

Professor

  • Experimental nuclear physics
  • Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)
  • Environmental lead

Peaslee’s Latest News

Peaslee in the News

Mass. firefighters and their families are on the front lines of a battle with 'forever chemicals'

“I got one of the 6,000 emails she sent,” recalled Graham Peaslee, a physics professor at the University of Notre Dame, who studies PFAS.

Measures to spotlight health risks from PFAS in firefighter gear close to becoming Indiana law

But many firefighters and experts argue the standard set by that test is unreasonable. Among them is Graham Peaslee, a University of Notre Dame professor, who has used applied nuclear physics to measure and study PFAS in clothing, firefighter gear and various other materials.

Going green with your self-care

Researchers at the University of Notre Dame found PFAS, sometimes called "forever chemicals," in 52% of cosmetics. 

Plastic containers may release forever chemicals into food

The University of Notre Dame has recently conducted a study to determine if products containing PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) could negatively impact human health. 

What to know about ‘forever chemicals,’ artificial turf, Phillies cancer deaths, and our story

Researchers at the University of Notre Dame tested additional samples of the Vet’s turf, and also found the chemicals.

How we were able to test artificial turf from Veterans Stadium and what the tests showed

Reporters purchased these turf samples from four individual sellers on eBay, and had two pieces tested at the Lancaster, Pa., laboratory of Eurofins Scientific, an international group of 900 labs in 50 countries, and two samples at a lab at the University of Notre Dame.

Food Is Being Contaminated by PFAS From Wrappers

“Not only did we measure significant concentrations of PFAS in these containers, we can estimate the PFAS that were leaching off creating a direct path of exposure,” said Graham Peaslee, professor of physics in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Notre Dame and an author of the study.

Field of Dread

“Once PFAS gets into [a person’s] blood, they circulate through all the organs,” said Graham Peaslee, a physicist at the University of Notre Dame who has spent years studying PFAS compounds.

What To Know About Period Products And PFAS

“One of the companies was using PFAS on the inner side of the underwear, which is really an odd place to use it,” said Graham Peaslee, professor and PFAS researcher at the University of Notre Dame, adding that it might be a water- or stain-resistant feature of the underwear.

PFAS 'Forever Chemicals' Are Turning Up in Menstrual Products. Here's What You Need to Know

“It assumes you have a lifetime of drinking water,” says Graham Peaslee, professor of physics at the University of Notre Dame, who is also active in PFAS research and whose lab conducts regular tests of products for the substances.

Experts and Advocates Testify in Support of Bill Protecting Marylanders from Dangerous PFAS in Common Pesticides

Two nationally renowned scientists are testifying and available for interviews before or after the hearing: Dr. Graham Peaslee, a nuclear chemist and a professor at Notre Dame who has been working on PFAS since 2014 and is now considered one of the world’s top experts.

Here's Why It's So Hard to Know If Your Period Underwear Is PFAS-Free

While Thinx advertised its products were free of harmful chemicals, Sierra reporter Jessian Choy was able to prove otherwise back in 2020 with the help of Graham Peaslee, PhD, a physics professor at the University of Notre Dame.

The Power of Citizen Science

Choy decided to get the products tested herself. She sent samples of two brands to a lab at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana run by Graham Peaslee, PhD, a leading PFAS researcher.

Firefighters’ union mounts legal push against ‘forever chemicals’: ‘It stops now’

Diane Cotter eventually sent samples of the gear to Graham Peaslee of the University of Notre Dame, who was able to test the items for PFAS content.

What to know about PFAS after Thinx underwear settles class-action lawsuit

An article published in 2020 by Sierra magazine first brought attention to the ingredients in Thinx products. The article's author, Jessian Choy, had Thinx menstrual underwear and a similar product from another brand tested by Dr. Graham Peaslee, a physics professor at the University of Notre Dame, whose research focuses on PFAS.

South Bend Fire Department makes updates to procedures to reduce Cancer risks

Video

The smoke firefighters are up against today is more toxic than ever, according to Graham Peaslee, a Professor of Physics at the University of Notre Dame.

What to Know About PFAS in Period Underwear

The presence of PFAS in Thinx products was first revealed in January 2020, when Sierra magazine published an investigation, in partnership with a researcher at the University of Notre Dame, that found these chemicals in the crotch area of Thinx underwear.

Thinx to pay up to $5M to settle claims its period underwear contained potentially harmful chemicals

The presence of PFAS appears to have been first reported in January 2020 in the Sierra Club’s magazine, “Sierra,” with the headline, “My Menstrual Underwear Has Toxic Chemicals in It.” Reporter Jessian Choy sent her Thinx to a University of Notre Dame nuclear scientist, who found high levels of PFAS, “especially on the inside layers of the crotch.”

Thinx settled a lawsuit over chemicals in its period underwear. Here's what to know

In 2020, reporter Jessian Choy sent several pairs of Thinx underwear to a University of Notre Dame laboratory, which found high levels of fluorine and concluded that the underwear contained PFAS.

Thinx period underwear settles $4 million class action lawsuit after 'forever chemicals' that can cause fertility issues were found in high quantities near the CROTCH of its supposed 'organic and non-toxic' absorbent undergarments

Jessian Choy wrote in the Sierra magazine at the time that she sent the pairs to Dr. Graham Peaslee, a nuclear scientist at the University of Notre Dame.

What to Know About the Thinx Class-Action Settlement

Back in 2020, a journalist for Sierra magazine investigated the potential risks of period underwear, sending two brands, including Thinx, to an independent scientist at the University of Notre Dame.

Why you should throw away your Teflon pan the second it cracks

“PFAS are a class of chemicals that are characterized by extremely long environmental persistence,” says Graham Peaslee, professor of physics at the University of Notre Dame who was not involved in the study.

Why getting PFAS out of our products is so hard — and why it matters

“This stuff is toxic at incredibly low levels and it’s persistent — it stays there for hundreds of years in the groundwater, thousands of years,” said Graham Peaslee, a Notre Dame professor and researcher who’s tested many products for PFAS in his lab. 

High Levels of PFAS 'Forever' Chemicals in Kids' School Uniforms

“What was surprising about this group of samples was the high detection frequency of PFAS in the garments required for children to wear,” said study co-author Graham Peaslee, a professor of physics at the University of Notre Dame.

Study finds high levels of PFAS in school uniforms

In a study published in Environmental Science and Technology, scientists at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana University, the University of Toronto and the Green Science Policy Institute analyzed a variety of children's textiles. 

‘What are they thinking?’: toxic ‘forever chemicals’ found in school uniforms

“It’s one of those things where you hang your head and say ‘What are they thinking?’” said co-author and University of Notre Dame researcher Graham Peaslee

Equilibrium/Sustainability — Bloomberg goes big to stop petrochemical pollution

Vulnerable and unaware: “What was surprising about this group of samples was the high detection frequency of PFAS in the garments required for children to wear,” study co-author Graham Peaslee, of the University of Notre Dame, said in a statement.

Scientists find high levels of ‘forever chemicals’ in school uniforms

“What was surprising about this group of samples was the high detection frequency of PFAS in the garments required for children to wear,” study co-author Graham Peaslee, a professor of physics at Notre Dame, said in a statement.

Kansas firefighter among early whistleblowers of PFAS in protective gear

Video

“1.2 million firefighters are wearing this,” Dr. Graham Peaslee, a Notre Dame professor who conducted the study, said.

Indiana Research Universities Study PFAS Problem as Feds Move to Limit Contamination

University of Notre Dame researchers, like professor of chemistry and biochemistry Graham Peaslee, have found PFAS chemicals in fast food packaging, firefighter turnout gear and cosmetics.

Revealed: US water likely contains more ‘forever chemicals’ than EPA tests show

“Industry has had a 70-year head start and we’re never going to catch up,” said Graham Peaslee, a University of Notre Dame researcher.

Pesticides Are Spreading Toxic ‘Forever Chemicals,’ Scientists Warn

“We’ve seen fluoro groups in insecticides, but I would not call those PFAS,” says Graham Peaslee, a professor of physics at the University of Notre Dame. 

Dangerous chemicals found in food wrappers at major fast-food restaurants and grocery chains, report says

“I would not urge consumers to take these brand names and only go to this one or that one, as this investigation only looked at just over 100 products,” said Graham Peaslee, a professor of physics, chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.

Dangerous PFAS Chemicals Are in Your Food Packaging

That’s because all PFAS contain organic fluorine, and there are few other sources of the compound, says Graham Peaslee, PhD, a professor of physics, chemistry, and biochemistry at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, who has studied PFAS in food packaging. 

Revealed: the dangerous chemicals in your food wrappers

That’s because all PFAS contain organic fluorine, and there are few other sources of the compound, says Graham Peaslee, PhD, a professor of physics, chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, who has studied PFAS in food packaging.

Researchers join together to address contamination in North Lake County

Residents filled "milk jugs, their favorite aquarium tank and two-liter pop bottles" with tap water from their homes, explained Graham Peaslee, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Notre Dame.

Firefighters say chemicals in gear are toxic

Video

Interview with Graham Peaslee, physics. 

Study Finds Toxic 'Forever Chemicals' in Most Stain- and Water-Resistant Textiles

“I'm afraid there are almost no consumer products that are entirely free of PFAS at this point,” Graham Peaslee, PhD, professor of physics at the University of Notre Dame, who is not affiliated with the report, told Verywell.

Green beauty product testing finds more than 60% have PFAS indicators

Graham Peaslee, senior author of the Notre Dame study and professor of physics at the University of Notre Dame, noted in a press release that regular lipstick wearers could ingest a few pounds of lipstick in their lifetime.

WARNING: Toxic chemicals found in makeup -- even high-end brands, investigation finds

Video

“We think that there’s intentional use of this that’s not being declared. We think that the consumer has the right to know what they’re buying,” said Graham Peaslee, Ph.D. a physics professor at the University of Notre Dame.

Biden administration moves to curtail toxic ‘forever chemicals’

“These results are particularly concerning when you consider the risk of exposure to the consumer combined with the size and scale of a multibillion-dollar industry that provides these products to millions of consumers daily,” Graham Peaslee, a physics professor and one of the study’s lead authors, said in a statement.

Scientists Found That 82% of Waterproof Mascaras Have Toxic Chemicals in Them — Here's What to Shop Instead

As a study published by researchers at the University of Notre Dame in mid-June found, the problem extends far beyond one palette.

The Toxic Job of Being a Hero

“PFAS is insidious; it’s one of the most persistent chemicals ever made,” says Graham Peaslee, Ph.D., a professor at Notre Dame and one of the world’s leading PFAS researchers.

Mask Research / Toxic Cosmetics / Great Resignation

Audio

Guest: Graham Peaslee, Professor of Experimental Nuclear Physics, University of Notre Dame.

OPINION: Teflon might be in your makeup. Here’s what you should know

A recent study from researchers at the University of Notre Dame sent me running back for yet another makeup check.

Is that long-lasting lipstick toxic? Study raises concerns about PFAS in cosmetics.

The study was led by scientists at the University of Notre Dame and published in the Journal of Environmental Science & Technology Letters.

PFAS: fears over lax US standards prompt bill on beauty products’ safety

Graham Peaslee, a physics professor at the University of Notre Dame, led the study that inspired legislators to act again on this issue.

This Popular Type of Makeup Has Been Linked to Toxic Chemicals That Increase Cancer Risk

“Lipstick wearers may inadvertently eat several pounds of lipstick in their lifetimes,” Graham Peaslee, senior study author and professor of physics at the University of Notre Dame said in a press release. 

Lawmakers introduced 2 new bills after a study found popular beauty products may contain cancer-linked 'forever chemicals'

The bills follow a study conducted by The University of Notre Dame that tested US makeup products from Ulta Beauty, Sephora, Target, and Bed Bath & Beyond.

Potentially Toxic Chemicals Called PFAS Are Common in Cosmetics, Study Finds

“These results are particularly concerning when you consider the risk of exposure to the consumer combined with the size and scale of a multibillion-dollar industry that provides these products to millions of consumers daily,” says senior study author Graham Peaslee, PhD, a professor of physics at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.

Scientists Find Toxic ‘Forever Chemicals’ in More Than 100 Popular Make-Up Products

University of Notre Dame researchers tested 231 frequently-used makeup products, including liquid foundation, concealer, blush, lipsticks, and mascara, reports Tom Perkins for the Guardian.

Notre Dame Study Finds High Levels Of Toxic PFAS Chemicals In Cosmetics

A University of Notre Dame study has found many cosmetics sold in the United States may contain high levels of PFAS, a class of toxic chemicals.

How to make sense of the new findings on 'forever chemicals' in makeup

In the new study, Heather Whitehead, a graduate student in chemistry at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, and her collaborators looked at 231 cosmetic products purchased in Canada and the U.S., including 17 Canadian products, most of which did not have PFAS listed on the label.

PFAS undisclosed in most cosmetics sold in the US and Canada

The work, led by physics professor Graham Peaslee of the University of Notre Dame, involved testing more than 200 cosmetics purchased in the two countries.

Many cosmetics contain hidden, potentially dangerous ‘forever chemicals’

“There is no known good PFAS,” says chemist and physicist Graham Peaslee of the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.

Use of PFAS in cosmetics 'widespread,' new study finds

Many cosmetics sold in the United States and Canada likely contain high levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a potentially toxic class of chemicals linked to a number of serious health conditions, according to new research from the University of Notre Dame.

Widespread Use of Potentially Harmful PFAS Found in Cosmetics

Many cosmetics sold in the United States and Canada likely contain high levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a potentially toxic class of chemicals linked to a number of serious health conditions, according to new research from the University of Notre Dame.

A New Study Found High Levels of Toxic 'Forever Chemicals' In 120 Cosmetic Products

After testing 231 cosmetics - including foundations, mascaras, concealers, and lip, eye, and eyebrow products - from stores such as Ulta Beauty, Sephora, and Target, the University of Notre Dame researchers found that 52 percent contained high levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

Report: There are toxic chemicals in more than half of makeup brands

Researchers at the University of Notre Dame announced this week that they found substantial evidence of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in more than half of popular cosmetic products, even though almost none were listed on ingredient labels. 

More Than Half of Cosmetics Used in U.S. and Canada Contain Cancerous Chemicals, Study Shows

More than half of cosmetics products sold and used in the U.S. and Canada contain cancerous chemicals, according to a new study released by the University of Notre Dame.

Senate bill would ban toxic ‘forever chemicals’ in makeup, which new study found are often unlabeled

“We were shocked to see how much is in some of these products,” said Graham Peaslee, a professor of physics at the University of Notre Dame and the principal investigator on the study, which was published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology Letters.

People May Be Absorbing "Forever Chemicals" Not Included In Makeup Ingredients Lists

“These are products that are applied around the eyes and mouth with the potential for absorption through the skin or at the tear duct, as well as possible inhalation or ingestion,” study author Graham Peaslee, professor of physics at the University of Notre Dame, said in a statement.

Makeup may contain potentially toxic chemicals called PFAS, study finds

"We found fluorine as a surrogate for PFAS was in all sorts of cosmetics. We didn't expect almost every cosmetic to light up like it did," said study author Graham Peaslee, a professor of physics, chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Notre Dame.

Study: Half of US cosmetics contain toxic chemicals

Researchers at the University of Notre Dame tested more than 230 commonly used cosmetics and found that 56% of foundations and eye products, 48% of lip products and 47% of mascaras contained fluorine — an indicator of PFAS, so-called “forever chemicals” that are used in nonstick frying pans, rugs and countless other consumer products.

Study: Many cosmetics contain unlisted, toxic 'forever chemicals'

"Lipstick wearers may inadvertently eat several pounds of lipstick in their lifetimes," study co-author Graham Peaslee said in a press release.

Makeup products may contain potentially toxic PFAS chemicals, study warns

"Lipstick wearers may inadvertently eat several pounds of lipstick in their lifetimes," Graham Peaslee, study senior author and professor of physics at the University of Notre Dame, said in a news release. 

Study shows PFAS widespread in cosmetics

Graham Peaslee, senior author of the study and a professor of physics at the University of Notre Dame, said in a statement that chemicals in makeup are largely unregulated in the United States and Canada, which creates challenges around conveying safety information to the public.

Find out if your water is contaminated with lead at free testing event June 5

Professor Graham Peaslee, of the University of Notre Dame, and his graduate students developed a method for rapidly testing water for lead, Peller said. 

Hank Investigates: PFAS in Firefighters Gear

“When we saw the results, I thought to myself, ‘Oh, my gosh, she’s correct.’ It was scary,” Dr. Graham Peaslee said. 

Michigan testing blood of firefighters to analyze PFAS exposure

A 2020 study led by University of Notre Dame researcher Graham Peaslee found that large amounts of PFAS in firefighter gear is leaching into inner layers of their coats.

Period Underwear Changed My Life—and I'm Never Going Back

Sierra Club writer Jessian Choy sent in several pairs of her Thinx underwear and Lunapads (now called Aisle) to Graham Peaslee, a physics and chemistry researcher at the University of Notre Dame.

I tested my tap water, household products and cat for toxic 'forever chemicals'

The levels for several compounds are what Graham Peaslee, a University of Notre Dame PFAS researcher, called “unusually high” and at quantities at which toxicologists say they start seeing links to health problems. 

Firefighters' Catch-22: Protective gear full of carcinogens

"Once you have this test, all moisture barriers, and therefore all turnout gear, must contain PFAS," said Graham Peaslee, a researcher and professor of experimental nuclear physics at the University of Notre Dame.

Firefighters may be wearing gear that contains toxic chemicals, researchers find

Graham F. Peaslee, a physics and biochemistry professor at the University of Notre Dame and coauthor of the study, said the research appeared to corroborate his previous studies.

Firefighters Battle an Unseen Hazard: Their Gear Could Be Toxic

And while some forms of PFAS are being phased out, the replacements have not been proven to be safer, said Graham F. Peaslee, a professor in experimental nuclear physics, chemistry and biochemistry at Notre Dame who led the study.

Firefighters Want Halt on Money From Makers of PFAS-Laden Gear

She’s spent years advocating against the dangers of PFAS in gear, and helped bring about a study by Notre Dame physicist Graham Peaslee that exposed high levels of PFAS in turnout gear.

‘The Greatest Deception Ever’: Firefighters and Scientists Sound the Alarm About Cancer-Causing Chemicals in Protective Gear

“There’s 1.2 million firefighters out there and nobody is telling them about this stuff,” University of Notre Dame professor Graham Peaslee said in an interview this week on the Law&Crime Network’s Brian Ross Investigates.

The Best Period Underwear

We also spoke with Rolf Halden, director of the Biodesign Center for Environmental Health Engineering at Arizona State University, and with University of Notre Dame nuclear physicist Graham Peaslee (whose lab tested period underwear sent in by a columnist for the Sierra Club magazine) about chemicals found in treated garments, including some period underwear.