Read the full article by Annie Ropeik (NHPR)
“The Saint-Gobain factory in Merrimack is putting the finishing touches on a big new air emissions treatment system, a state-mandated upgrade designed to burn off harmful PFAS chemicals that represents a first for the company.
They unveiled the new system to reporters as part of a factory tour on Tuesday.
Inside the plant, Saint-Gobain’s signature protective fabrics were being woven on giant looms and coated with chemicals that include kinds of PFAS, also known as “forever chemicals.”
The substances are linked to health problems and persist in the environment. New Hampshire is one of the few states that regulate PFAS in drinking water, but they remain common in consumer products and aren’t subject to federal limits.
Saint-Gobain uses the substances to make fabrics that resist chemicals, fire and the elements for military and emergency gear – biohazard suits and desert shelters, for example – and construction uses, such as weather-proof sports stadium rooftops.
“We make products here [in Merrimack] we don’t make at other facilities,” said Chris Angier, the company’s regional environmental health safety manager. “There’s kind of some unique things that take place here.”
After Saint-Gobain’s PFAS use in Merrimack caused contamination in hundreds of nearby water wells several years ago, state regulators ordered the company to install the new air emissions treatment system.
Saint-Gobain missed its first deadline this past February. The final deadline is July 30, 2021.”…