Read the full article from Brett Chase (Chicago Sun-Times)

“More than 100 drinking water systems across Illinois, including some in the Chicago area, have tested positive for measurable levels of harmful contaminants known as “forever chemicals” that are linked to cancer, liver damage, high blood pressure and other health threats.

In the Chicago area, Lake Forest, Waukegan, North Chicago, South Elgin and Crest Hill near Joliet are among the water systems that are showing readings of a class of chemicals known as PFAS, short for perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances. In most cases, the levels are very low though the widespread presence is a concern, environmental and health advocates say.

‘These findings confirm our fears that drinking water is a source of PFAS exposure for thousands of Illinois residents,” said Sonya Lunder, a Sierra Club toxics expert who has worked on the issue nationally. ‘The state needs to urgently address these harmful exposures.’

While state officials say most of these levels are trace amounts, every water system manager showing even small sources is required to regularly test and monitor the levels while Illinois determines safe limits for the chemicals, said Sonjay Sofat, who heads the water bureau for Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. His agency, which is doing the testing as a step toward determining rules on controlling the contamination, ideally will finish testing by the end of October, he said.”…