At Least 45% Of U.S. Tap Water Contaminated With ‘Forever Chemicals’

Research from U.S. Geological Survey found that at least 45% of tap water in the United States is contaminated with “forever chemicals.”

Exposure to these chemicals is linked to negative health outcomes and an increased risk of cancer.

The USGS study tested tap water for 32 types of forever chemicals from more than 700 locations across the United States.

The study took place over a 5-year period.

“USGS scientists tested water collected directly from people’s kitchen sinks across the nation, providing the most comprehensive study to date on PFAS in tap water from both private wells and public supplies,” USGS research hydrologist Kelly Smalling said in a statement.

“The study estimates that at least one type of PFAS – of those that were monitored – could be present in nearly half of the tap water in the U.S. Furthermore, PFAS concentrations were similar between public supplies and private wells,” Smalling continued.

Urban areas showed the largest concentration of PFAS, primarily in the Great Plains, Great Lakes, Eastern Seaboard, and Central and Southern California.

Reporting from Axios:

Of note: The research builds on previous study findings indicating the widespread effects of these chemicals that are used in various nonstick, water-repellent and fire-resistant industrial and consumer products, including cookware, some food packaging and firefighting materials.


What they're saying: Jamie DeWitt, a professor of pharmacology and toxicology in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at East Carolina University, told CNN she wasn't surprised by the findings.

"There’s been almost no place scientists have looked where they have not found PFAS," she added.