Read the full article here by Tracy Loew (Salem Statesman Journal)

“Oregon plans to test about 150 drinking water systems across the state that could be contaminated with PFAS, or per- and poly-fluorinated substances.

The systems were chosen because of their proximity to known or suspected PFAS use or contamination sites.

The list includes 17 sites in Marion and Polk counties, including drinking water systems serving the Covanta Marion garbage incinerator in Brooks, the MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility in Woodburn, the NORPAC processing plant in Brooks, a handful of mobile home parks, and water systems operated by the cities of Aurora, Hubbard, Independence, Jefferson, Monmouth, St. Paul and Sublimity.

PFAS are a family of chemicals used since the 1940s for their non-stick, heat-, moisture-, grease- and stain-resistant qualities. They’re found in everyday items like non-stick pans, waterproof outerwear, food packaging and firefighting foam.

PFAS are referred to as ‘forever chemicals,’ meaning they don’t break down in the environment or human body, and can accumulate over time.

Growing evidence points to their adverse health effects including increased cholesterol levels, changes in liver enzymes, small decreases in infant birth weights, decreased vaccine response in children, increased risk of high blood pressure or pre-eclampsia in pregnant women, and increased risk of kidney or testicular cancer.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s laboratory will test the drinking water samples for 25 PFAS compounds, in partnership with the Oregon Health Authority.

DEQ hopes to begin testing water systems this month, spokesman Harry Esteve said. 

It will start with 20 sites: 11 in north Marion County, four in west Clackamas County, three in south Washington County, and two that were not identified.”…