Read the full article by Rebecca Trager (Chemistry World)

“The US Department of Defense (DOD) has released new data showing that the number of military sites with groundwater potentially contaminated by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) is actually more than 60% higher than the previous figure released by the Pentagon. The DOD’s updated inventory of its facilities that are undergoing assessment of PFAS use or potential release has increased from 401 in July 2018 to 651, as of the end of the 2019 financial year. ‘It just means that we know that there is a possibility that PFAS substances were at these military sites in the form of firefighting foam, and so we need to look into whether it was used there,’ DOD spokesperson Chuck Prichard tells Chemistry World. The agency is not actually testing the groundwater at these military sites yet, but first checking for evidence that PFAS-containing firefighting foam was ever used in these locations. ‘We are currently in the assessment phase,’ Prichard explains.

The DOD report, released on 13 March, points out that the agency’s initial focus back in 2018 was on installations with potentially significant historic use of aqueous film-fighting foams (AFFF), but the updated figures represent a more comprehensive estimate of installations where PFAS may have been used or released. Meanwhile, the Environmental Working Group says it found evidence within DOD documents that PFAS has been detected in groundwater at 14 military installations at levels above 1 million parts per trillion (ppt), which far exceeds the 70ppt drinking water lifetime health advisory level recommended by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)…”