Wisconsin surface water testing finds PFAS compounds in 100% of samples

National

MADISON, Wis. (WLNS) – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has received results from surface water and sediment sampling performed in November 2019.

The testing targeted an area of the Milwaukee Estuary where polyfluoroalkyl substances or PFAS compounds were found in sediment and surface water samples. 13 locations including one in Lake Michigan were sampled for 35 PFAS compounds.

The US EPA-designated Milwaukee Estuary Area of Concern (AOC) was specifically chosen as an area for potential cleanup-related dredging.

Perfluorobutanoate or PFBA was found in 100% of the surface water samples. PFBA is considered less toxic than Perfluorooctanoate or PFOA and Perfluorooctane sulfonate or PFOS.

Sample locations and the analytical report for the results can be found on the Wisconsin DNR’s website.

PFAS are a group of human-made chemicals used for decades in numerous products, including non-stick cookware, fast food wrappers, stain-resistant sprays and certain types of firefighting foam.

PFAS can remain in the environment as well as the human body for long periods of time and eating fish containing elevated levels of PFAS is a potential human health concern.

The Wisconsin DNR is currently awaiting PFAS results from fish that were collected from the Milwaukee River and additional fish will be collected from the AOC in 2020.

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