Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances

The Social Discovery of a Class of Emerging Contaminants

Fairbanks, Alaska

Suspected contamination source: Firefighting foam used at Eielson Air Force Base and Regional Fire Training Center (State of Alaska press release, 2015)

Per and polyfluoralkyl substances (PFASs) were first discovered at the City of Fairbanks Regional Fire Training Center (RFTC) and Eielson Air Force Base in 2015.

Since the discovery of PFOS in drinking water wells on-base, the Air Force discontinued the use of the wells from which samples exceeded the EPA Public Health Advisory (PHA) level. The Air Force then initiated groundwater sampling near the northern boundary of the base, in order to find out whether PFOS could be migrating off-base. Results showed widespread contamination, with PFOS exceeding the PHA level in groundwater from 10 feet to 100 feet below ground surface.

Additional Resources:

Media Coverage:

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