Read the full article by Autumn Spanne (Environmental Health News)
“PFAS are a group of manmade chemicals used in a vast number of consumer and industrial products. They’re often referred to as ‘forever chemicals,’ because most don’t break down. Use this guide to understand PFAS and how to limit your exposure.
What does PFAS stand for?
PFAS stands for per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances, which contain a strong carbon-fluorine bond that allows them to accumulate over time in the environment and in the bodies of animals and people, posing health risks. PFAS chemicals might also be thought of as ‘everywhere chemicals,’ since they’ve become so common in the products we use every day.
Where does PFAS contamination come from?
Manufacturing processes and waste storage and treatment sites release PFAS into the air, soil, and water. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has identified 41,828 industrial and municipal sites in the U.S. that are known or suspected of using PFAS. Among the industrial facilities the group pointed to are petroleum stations and terminals, chemical manufacturers, commercial printers, plastics and resin manufacturing sites, paint and coating manufacturers, semiconductor manufacturers, makers of metal products and electrical components, and electroplating and polishing.
EWG recently released an additional report based on EPA data that found PFAS may be discharged by more than 1,500 U.S. textile mills. Landfills and waste disposal facilities, along with sewage and waste treatment plants, are other common sources of contamination.
In addition, military bases and airports are major contributors to PFAS contamination, mostly from training and testing exercises using firefighting foam. EWG mapped 385 U.S. military installations with PFAS contamination and several hundred more that are suspected to be contaminated. Many nearby communities also suffer groundwater and drinking water contamination as a result of their proximity to these facilities.”…