Read the full article by Cheryl Hogue (C&EN)
“Two toxic, persistent per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) used at a Chemours factory in West Virginia pollute soil and groundwater as far as 48 km downwind of the plant, researchers report (Environ. Sci. Technol. 2020, DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.9b07384).
The findings demonstrate that wind-blown air emissions from the plant have been a main route of distribution for the two PFAS into the environment, says study co-author Linda K. Weavers, an environmental engineer at Ohio State University. The study’s data also show that the atmospheric transport of PFAS from the plant is more widespread than previously thought, Weavers says.
Discharges of wastewater into the Ohio River were once thought to be the primary way the facility released PFAS into the environment.
For decades, the plant, owned by DuPont from the middle of the last century until it spun off Chemours in 2015, released perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which was used as a processing aid in the production of Teflon brand polytetrafluoroethylene, a durable nonstick plastic. PFOA is linked to cancer, high cholesterol, and other health conditions in people…”