Read the full article by John L. Micek (Pennsylvania Capital-Star)

“New research indicates that the spread of toxic so-called ‘forever chemicals’ nationwide has left few parts of the country untouched, with the true scope of the problem most likely ‘dramatically underreported,’ according to one expert.

The research, published this week in the journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters, identifies more than 57,000 sites potentially contaminated by man-made PFAS, or per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances.

The 57,412 sites with potential contamination ‘include places where PFAS-laden firefighting foam, known as aqueous film-forming foam, or AFFF, was likely released; certain industrial facilities; sites related to PFAS-containing waste; military sites and airports,’ according to the Environmental Working Group.

The study was led by a team at Northeastern University in Boston, and was joined by researchers elsewhere, the advocacy group said in a statement.

PFAS contaminants have been linked to a variety of health concerns in humans, including fertility issues, low birth weights, and an increased risk of cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Capital-Star reported in April.

While there are currently no federal standards for regulating the substances, several states, including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina and Vermont have adopted or proposed limits for PFAS in drinking water, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The chemicals have proven to be a particular challenge in Pennsylvania, especially around the Willow Grove Naval Air Station in suburban Philadelphia, the Capital-Star reported in 2020.

Republican U.S. Rep., Brian Fitzpatrick, whose Bucks County-based 1st District seat includes the military installation, and U.S. Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, D-6th District, a veteran, have been vocal proponents of stronger federal action to fight the chemicals.” …