Nearly half of the tap water in the US is contaminated with ‘forever chemicals,’ government study finds

Author: By Jen Christensen, CNN

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Almost half of the tap water in the United States is contaminated with chemicals known as “forever chemicals,” according to a study from the US Geological Survey.

The number of people drinking contaminated water may be even higher than what the study found, however, because the researchers weren’t able to test for all of these per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances, or PFAS, chemicals that are considered dangerous to human health. There are more than 12,000 types of PFAS, according to the National Institutes of Health, but this study looked at only 32 of the compounds.


If PFAS is in 45% of US water systems, the country will have a lot of work to do, said Dr. Graham Peaslee, a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and concurrent professor of chemistry and biochemistry who does PFAS research at the University of Notre Dame.

“I think that we should try our best to work on how to clean this up. My fear is that this is, global warming aside, this is probably the most expensive environmental problem we’re ever going to face,” said Peaslee, who was not involved in the 2023 study. ”There’s nothing that will magically fix it. It’s fairly expensive to clean this up. And it’s a recurring cost, and there’s no permanent solutions to it for any particular utility. It looks frightening.”

But the cleanup will have to be done, he said, because these chemicals carry real health consequences, and people can’t exactly avoid drinking water.

“It’s really insidious, this poison,” Peaslee said. “We are going to have to get inventive on how to filter it out for all of our days.”

Full story here-CNN.