A new model indicates sources of PFAS “forever chemicals” may be much more widespread than usually thought.
Presumptive Contamination Sites (n=57,412), Environ. Sci. Technol. Lett. 2022, 9, 11, 983-990
That model was published while
Waterkeeper Alliance was working up the report on the nationwide PFAS sampling,
Suwannee Riverkeeper results on the Withlacoochee River in Georgia and Florida.
Presumptive Contamination: A New Approach to PFAS Contamination Based on Likely Sources,
Derrick Salvatore, Kira Mok, Kimberly K. Garrett, Grace Poudrier, Phil Brown, Linda S. Birnbaum, Gretta Goldenman, Mark F. Miller, Sharyle Patton, Maddy Poehlein, Julia Varshavsky, and Alissa Cordner,
Environ. Sci. Technol. Lett. 2022, 9, 11, 983-990.
While research and regulatory attention to per- and polyfluoroalkyl
substances (PFAS) has increased exponentially in recent years, data
are uneven and incomplete about the scale, scope, and severity of
PFAS releases and resulting contamination in the United States. This
paper argues that in the absence of high-quality testing data, PFAS
contamination can be presumed around three types of facilities: (1)
fluorinated aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) discharge sites, (2)
certain industrial facilities, and (3) sites related to
PFAS-containing waste. While data are incomplete on all three types
of presumptive PFAS contamination sites, we integrate available
geocoded, nationwide data sets into a single map of presumptive
contamination sites in the United States, identifying 57,412 sites
of presumptive PFAS contamination: 49,145 industrial facilities,
4,255 wastewater treatment plants, 3,493 current or former military
sites, and 519 major airports. This conceptual approach allows
governments, industries, and communities to rapidly and
systematically identify potential exposure sources.
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