Read the full article by Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco (Northern Public Radio)

“Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker recently signed a new law limiting the ways so-called ‘forever’ chemicals can be disposed of in the state. But the sheer volume of these chemicals continues to present significant challenges.

PFAS or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances are shorthand for a family of over 5,000 toxic chemicals manufactured to be highly resistant to water and heat. Sonya Lunder is a Toxics Policy Advisor with the Sierra Club. She says it’s the durable quality in the chemical structure of PFAS substances that complicates their disposal.

PFAS are commonly employed in all kinds of consumer products, from dental floss to pizza boxes and hundreds more. Lunder adds that their prolific use is adding up to a big problem.

‘The hurry to get rid of PFAS is causing state and federal regulators to make really bad decisions,” said Lunder. “And the chemicals are intentionally designed to fight high temperature fires. We’re very concerned that even in the high temperature of a waste incinerator, they are not broken down.’

JD Dixon is an environmental justice organizer with United Congregations of Metro East. He says the fight ramped up a couple years back when hazardous waste incinerator Veolia ES Technical Solutions received a contract from the Department of Defense to dispose of PFAS-based fire fighting foam.” …