As Many as 100 Million Americans Likely Have PFAS in their Drinking Water

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) updated its database and interactive map on where toxic fluorinated chemicals or “PFAS” have been detected based on the latest state and federal data and the numbers are alarming — particularly in the state of New Jersey, which has more than 500 sites including the President’s golf club there.  Nationwide, PFAS contamination is now found at 1,361 locations in 49 states — and in a variety of sources including community water systems, groundwater sources, military bases, airports, and industrial sites. According to EWG’s analysis of unreleased EPA data, “more than 100 million Americans may have PFAS in their drinking water.”

Why This Matters:  Think twice before you drink water from a tap in much of the country.  Almost one-third of Americans may be drinking water with PFAS in it.  The EPA does not regulate this “forever” chemical that never breaks down once released into the environment, and that builds up in our blood and organs. And scientists have warned that even low doses of PFAS chemicals in drinking water have been linked to many serious health problems such as an increased risk of cancer, reproductive and immune system harm, liver and thyroid disease.  Meanwhile, Congress is bickering and has thus far been unable to pass legislation to force the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to limit PFAS contamination.  Meanwhile, companies could also do the right thing and filter out the PFAS but they won’t because they are not required to do so.  Shame on everyone involved in the poisoning of our drinking water or failing to do anything about it.  

Take Massachusetts’ Merrimack River, For Example

This was the headline in the Boston Globe this week: “Toxic chemicals can be dumped into Merrimack River, federal and state officials say.”  The story is even more shocking.

The Merrimack is one of the New England region’s most polluted rivers        Photo: Boston Globe

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