Read the full article by Cynthia Gould (ABC 33/40)

“GADSDEN, AL (WBMA) – Concerned about what’s in your water? Following some alarming test results from the Gadsden water system ABC3340 conducted its own independent testing.

We were looking for PFAS, a group of contaminants known as ‘forever chemicals’ because they take decades to breakdown. Those chemicals are used in things like flame resistant clothing and non-stick cooking pans.

The EPA now dramatically lowering what it calls safe levels of PFAS.

The Gamblins say they’ve always worried about their water quality. ‘I have huge concerns. All my children live in the city of Gadsden,’ says Elsie Gamblin. Her family only drinks bottled water.

Brenetta Watkins feels the same way. ‘They need to get some kind of filtering system to get this fixed,’ remarked Watkins.

Gamblin says sometimes the water smells like moldy dirt. But it’s what they can’t see or taste that’s even more concerning. Forever chemicals can lead to serious health issues like cancer and fertility issues.

‘It’s everywhere and it’s definitely a health care crisis. It’s in our air, in drinking water, in some of our food,’ explains Dr. Rasmi Joglekar, a scientist with Earth Justice.

In July the public was notified of test results for PFAS by Gadsden Water. The numbers were well above new EPA guidelines.

Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Are a Group of Manufactured Chemicals

ABC3340 News set out to do independent tests across the city. We took samples from four homes, a local McDonalds, a downtown business and the Coosa River.

‘I’m nervous about it to be honest. I don’t want to be in a Flint, Michigan situation,’ remarked Gamblin

Auburn University’s School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences tested the samples. Lab technicians showed us the extensive process.

Auburn’s Dr. Kevin Wang and Dr. Joglekar called the findings concerning especially in light of the new advisories.

Dr. Joglekar reports the levels in our independent testing for certain PFAS are up to two to three times higher than those reported by the water company.” …