Tom Bruton is a scientist at the Green Science Policy Institute. He joined Stateside to discuss what makes PFAS chemicals so difficult to clean up.
The biggest problem is that PFAS chemicals do not break down naturally in the environment.
“Becuse PFAS are so persistent, a lot of the tools and tricks that engineers have for cleaning up water contamination don’t work for as well for PFAS,” Bruton said.
Bruton has researched one method that does work for PFAS remediation: in-situ chemical oxidation.
“It’s a little bit like adding bleach to your laundry. Bleach is an oxidant chemical. You add it to the laundry, it reacts with the stains in your clothes, the stains go away, the bleach doesn’t leave anything too nasty around. In-situ chemical oxidation is a similar process, where we introduce an oxidant underground, and hopefully detoxify the contaminants,” he explained.Stateside Staff
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