Read the full article by Angely Mercado (Gizmodo)

“Researchers have determined that the country is dotted with tens of thousands of locations that may be contaminated by PFAS, which are per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances—aka forever chemicals that do not disintegrate over time in nature or in the human body. Now, they’re mapping those sites to help regulators better direct resources toward cleanup efforts.

A new study published today in Environmental Science & Technology Letters estimates that there are over 50,000 PFAS-contaminated sites throughout the United States. The researchers argued that in the absence of testing data, they can presume contamination based on three categories of facilities that are very likely to be contaminated with PFAS chemicals.

‘What we’re arguing is, if you don’t have high quality data you should approach these sites assuming that there is PFAS contamination,’ Alissa Cordner, Associate Professor of Sociology at Whitman College and a senior author of the study, told Earther.

The team looked at publicly available data on industrial facilities, locations where firefighting foams have been used, and sites related to PFAS-containing waste. They identified 57,412 sites of presumptive PFAS contamination throughout the 50 states and the District of Columbia. This included 4,255 wastewater treatment plants, 3,493 current or former military sites, 49,145 industrial facilities, and 519 major airports.” …