NPR: Federal Data Shows Firefighting Chemicals In U.S. Drinking Water Sources

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The chemicals showed up more often near sites where these firefighting chemicals are common, such as airports or military bases. “During firefighting practice drills,” says Arlene Blum, a study co-author from the University of California Berkeley, “large volumes of these chemicals wash into surface and ground waters and can end up in our drinking water.” They are also found often near sites where the chemicals are manufactured.

These chemicals, called poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances, have been in use for decades and are very persistent once they’re out in the environment.

Christopher Joyce