Read the full article by Hannah Schmidt (CTV News Kitchener)

“University of Waterloo is leading an interdisciplinary team to identify and treat per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) – better known as forever chemicals – in water systems affecting more than 2.5 million Canadians.

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) is providing the funding to detect, identify and treat PFAS-contaminated water, the university said in a media release.

PFAS are a new class of more than 4,000 environmental contaminants whose impact on human health is unknown, the university said. PFAS are used in a wide range of products such as cosmetics, textiles, fire-fighting foams and food packaging materials.

‘Traditional water treatment methods are ineffective at destroying these chemicals,’ Scott Hopkins, project lead and a professor in Waterloo’s Department of Chemistry said in the release. ‘Many smaller Canadian communities do not have the capacity to test for pollutants like PFAS or the ability to implement new water and wastewater treatment technologies. As a result, pollutants will stay in their ecosystems and biomagnify, or build-up, in the local food web.’

Hopkins has partnered with professor Franco Berruti from Western University, Canadian water associations and seven regional water supply systems in Ontario.” …