Read the full article by Kate Payne (Iowa Public Radio News)

“The Iowa DNR plans to test the water at more than 50 locations across the state for the substances known as forever chemicals. The class of compounds collectively called PFAS has been linked to an increased risk for a number of health concerns, including certain cancers, developmental and fertility issues, as well as kidney and liver complications.

The DNR plans to test for two PFAS compounds, PFOA and PFOS, at 53 locations across the state beginning in July. This initial round of testing is focused on public water wells and other vulnerable sites near locations where the harmful compounds are thought to have been used.

The family of man-made chemicals includes thousands of compounds that have been used in a host of industrial settings for decades, as well as in consumer goods from cookware to clothing to carpet. Officials are increasingly detecting PFAS contamination in soil and water across the country, raising concerns about widespread and long-term exposure.

Matt Graesch of the DNR is one of the staffers working on the state’s sampling project. Using information from databases tracking pollution control and industrial regulation, Graesch identified roughly 1,100 locations in the state that are most likely to use or store PFAS on the property.

He then compared those locations to the state’s list of approximately 1,300 public drinking water wells that are considered ‘highly susceptible’ to contamination, due to their relative depth or lack of protective layers underground that can impede contaminants.

Graesch spoke about the plan at a virtual meeting of the Iowa Groundwater Association Thursday.

‘I drew a half a mile buffer around each of the PFAS locations and ran a query to figure out which of the active, highly susceptible public water supply wells were within a half a mile of a known or suspected PFAS location,’ Graesch said…”