Recent findings on chemical contaminants that are often found in drinking water, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), has led the US Environmental Protection Agency to release water health advisories in 63 water systems and 22 states.
PFOA and PFOS are chemicals that make various surfaces more water repellant and stain resistant. Carpet, food packaging, popcorn bags and even firefighting foam contain these chemicals. Environmental Toxicologist Jennifer Field of Oregon State University in Corvallis told BuzzFeed News that “[The chemicals] leak from old, unlined landfills, and every time there’s a firefighting training at an airport or a military base.”
Rather than degrading over time, PFOA and PFOS become more toxic, making it especially fatal for developing fetuses and nursing children. Ever since the Flint Water Crisis, the quality of our drinking water has been a major point of concern. The US Environmental Protective Agency is actively conducting research on various chemicals found in our water to prevent further crises from arising.
Buzzfeed News has created a map that shows affected areas in the United States. Water health advisories will help local government and water systems take appropriate measure.