SGS PFAS Update XLVIII: PFAS News for Environmental Professionals

With interesting news pieces across Canada and the United States, this 48th SGS PFAS Update includes a wide variety of perspectives on PFAS and “forever chemicals.” From a study in Quebec that found dangerous chemicals in cosmetic products to a California lawsuit against chemical companies like 3M, this newsletter catches you up on everything PFAS related.

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Potentially dangerous chemicals found in many cosmetic products sold in Canada: study

A study involving a University of Montreal (UdeM) researcher has found that many cosmetic and personal care products available in Canada contain high levels of PFAS (Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances) that, in at least one case, far exceed Canadian regulations.

United States

Expert Scientists Urge WHO to Reconsider its Draft Guidelines on PFAS in Drinking Water

A group of 116 scientists, who are experts on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), have written a letter to the World Health Organization (WHO) to express concerns about the draft “Background document for development of WHO Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality” regarding Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA).

Cleanup Liability Among Concerns About EPA’s Hazardous PFAS Plan

The EPA is vowing to move quickly to designate two “forever chemicals” as hazardous substances under the Superfund law, but has to balance the Biden administration’s desire to better protect disadvantaged communities with public and private sector fears they’ll be held liable for a problem not of their own making.


California sues manufacturers like 3M and DuPont over toxic ‘forever chemicals’

On November 10, California Attorney General Rob Bonta filed a lawsuit against chemical companies like 3M and DuPont for endangering public health, and harming and destroying the state’s natural resources with the toxic “forever chemicals” known as PFAS.


Federal infrastructure money to help alleviate PFAS, lead in Colorado water

Hundreds of thousands of Coloradans exposed to drinking water tainted by lead from aging, corroded city pipes or so-called forever chemicals will see clean water faster thanks to a historic infusion of $500 million from the federal government.


USF-led team detects toxic “forever chemicals,” or PFAS, in Tampa Bay fish and sediments

For the first time, a team led by the USF College of Marine Science (USF CMS) assessed the distribution and concentration of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), or “forever chemicals,” in sediments and fishes in Tampa Bay.


Midwest river towns look for answers after ‘forever chemicals’ found in water

This fall, towns and farmsteads along the Mississippi River received alarming news about their drinking water: Chemicals from a large 3M factory found a way into the river and their wells.


How can Maine address PFAS challenges? Researchers discuss what’s needed next

Three people who are studying “forever chemicals” and removing the toxic compounds from the environment discussed what they want to see happen next to address contamination, at a forum on Tuesday organized by the Bangor Daily News and Maine Farmland Trust.

Researchers at UMaine look for ways to destroy PFAS chemicals

A University of Maine researcher believes he may have found a way to take the “forever” out of the compounds. Onur Apul and his team are focusing on existing water filtration technology and trying to use it to find a solution to a growing public health crisis.


PFAS levels lower in buildings with healthier furnishings

Buildings renovated with healthier furnishings had significantly lower levels of the entire group of per- and polyfluoralkyl substances (PFAS) — toxic chemicals linked with many negative health effects — than buildings with conventional furnishings, according to a new study led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.


Study shows Maryland’s waterways have highest level of ‘forever chemicals’ nationwide

A recent nationwide study shows Maryland has an alarming level of “forever chemicals” in its waterways. The study, conducted by the national Waterkeeper Alliance, looks at the level of PFAS contaminants in U.S. surface waters.


How will PFAS impact the Michigan cattle industry?

Reporting of dairy and beef cattle farms impacted by the contamination of PFAS from other states have been found from PFAS containing products and municipal wastewater biosolid application to crop fields.


Minnesota buys ‘cutting-edge’ technology to remove PFAS from water in East Metro

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency announced the purchase of state-of-the-art technology aimed at removing and destroying “forever chemicals” from contaminated water in the environment. The system is paid for with funds from the 3M settlement, which covers contamination remediation.

New York

$4M in funding awarded for investigation of ‘forever’ chemicals at Gabreski Airport

Remediation efforts are expected to begin within the year at Gabreski Airport in Westhampton Beach, where the Department of Defense was found responsible for contaminating the groundwater supply with “forever” chemicals, and a toxic Superfund site was declared in 2016.


Philadelphia sues makers of PFAS chemicals

The city of Philadelphia has sued multiple chemical companies for alleged contamination of city property and resources, including drinking water supplies, by so-called forever chemicals that stay in the body for many years and have been found harmful to human health.


New tests find toxic “forever chemicals” in pet food bags and baby textiles

The toxic “forever chemicals” known as PFAS have been found in pet food packaging and textile products made for babies and toddlers, according to new Environmental Working Group test results.