Read the full article (Environmental Working Group)

“WASHINGTON – More than 600,000 service members at 116 military installations were annually served water with potentially unsafe levels of the toxic ‘forever chemicals‘ known as PFAS, according to an Environmental Working Group analysis.

An internal study by the Department of Defense from April concluded the Pentagon served unsafe water containing PFOA and PFOS – the two most notorious PFAS – to 175,000 members a year at 24 installations. That study only counted service members at installations served water with levels of PFOA and PFOS greater than 70 parts per trillion, or ppt, an advisory level set by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2016. But the agency in June tightened that level, to less than 1 ppt.

The DOD’s analysis also did not include service members’ drinking water purchased from local water utilities or from privatized on-base water systems, which may also have been contaminated with the chemicals.

The DOD has not published the assessment, dated April 18, 2022, to its public PFAS website, making it effectively unavailable to the public or service members, except by request. The report was mandated by Congress in the 2019 defense budget.

The number of service members served contaminated water may be even greater than EWG’s estimate, which relies on a review of publicly reported water system tests and DOD records.  

EWG has identified more than 400 DOD sites with known PFAS contamination in ground or drinking water. The use of firefighting foam made with PFAS is the primary source of this contamination. PFAS can migrate to wells the DOD uses for drinking water, depending on site-specific conditions.” …