SGS PFAS April Update: PFAS News for Environmental Professionals

Forever chemicals continue to dominate the news across North America this month. As States across the U.S. adjust to EPA standards, concerns of testing costs, PFAS in clothing, and water supply issues are surfacing. In Canada, kids, toys and food packaging items are cause for concern with high levels of PFAS found. In this April edition of the SGS PFAS newsletter, we bring you up to date information on PFAS, including links to weight gain, and what this means for the future.

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Diet, exercise – and forever chemicals? New research shows links between toxic PFAS and weight gain

Exposure to ‘forever chemicals’ could be contributing to obesity, a new study shows. We all know that obesity is linked to what we eat and how much – or how little – we exercise. But chemical pollution could also be contributing to the deadly epidemic. A Danish study published in the research journal, Obesity, on Monday exposes links between toxic PFAS – otherwise known as forever chemicals – and weight loss relapse.

What You Need to Know About ‘Forever Chemical’ Regulation in US & Europe

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have become a hot subject for regulators. Lawmakers in many jurisdictions are taking steps to eliminate PFAS from the supply chain. Here’s a comparison of PFAS regulations in the EU and the U.S.

United States

Raincoats, undies, school uniforms: Are your clothes dripping in “forever chemicals”?

There could be more than just fashion risks involved when buying a pair of leggings or a raincoat. Just how much risk is still not clear, but toxic chemicals have been found in hundreds of consumer products and clothing bought off the racks nationwide.

How PFAS are entering America’s water supply

The ABC News analysis of reported PFAS water contamination found that 43% of U.S. ZIP codes have had at least one water source where PFAS contamination was detected over the past 20 years. The data, collected by ABC News from federal and state environmental agencies, show the number of new detections in water sources each year rose from 753 in 2013 to 2,321 in 2021.

Secondhand fashion has a looming sustainability problem: PFAS

A growing number of U.S. state bans are forcing clothing companies to find less toxic alternatives to per- or polyfluorinated substances — called PFAS for short — when making shirts, hats and rain jackets that are water- and stain-resistant. California and New York have PFAS bans in apparel that take effect in 2025, while Maine banned PFAS in consumer products, including apparel, starting in 2030.

Is It Safe to Use Scratched Nonstick Pans? Here’s What Experts Say

You may see pans that claim to be free of PFOA or PFOS—two chemicals frequently used in the past—but that doesn’t mean they are guaranteed to be safe, says Katie Pelch, a scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the national environmental advocacy group. “If looking to purchase a new pan, also avoid PTFE or anything that includes ‘fluoro’ in the name, as these likely contain PFAS.”

US states consider ban on cosmetics with ‘forever chemicals’

A growing number of state legislatures are considering bans on cosmetics and other consumer products that contain a group of synthetic, potentially harmful chemicals known as PFAS.

‘Forever Chemicals’ Used in Furniture May Not Help Fabrics Resist Stains

Some furniture fabrics are coated with questionable PFAS compounds — often called ‘forever chemicals’ — to repel stains, but a new study suggests they may not even do the job they’re supposed to. The chemicals, widely believed to have a negative impact on human health, don’t seem to keep furniture any more or less stain-resistant than untreated fabric, according to a new study.


Ontario government says PFOS continues to be found in Glanbrook streams

Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks confirmed that perfluorooctane sulfonate is still leaching from the Hamilton International Airport above the threshold numbers. A federal study has been examining the downstream impact of the chemicals along the Welland River from the airport as far as the eastern end of Lake Niapenco in Binbrook. The chemicals are believed to travel through ditches and creeks into the river.

New tech removes forever chemicals from water

Researchers in Canada may have found a way to remove “forever chemicals” from your tap water. (Video).

Thought To Be Safe: Replacement PFAS Used in Food Packaging Are Actually Hazardous

A study recently published in Environmental Science & Technology Letters suggests that the per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) once considered safe for use in food packaging break down into toxic PFAS that can seep into our food and environment. The researchers tested 42 paper-based wrappers and bowls collected from fast-food restaurants in Toronto.

Canada banned these cancer-causing chemicals. But they’re still found in kids toys

Cancer-causing chemicals are lurking in household electronics and children’s toys, despite being banned for more than a decade in Canada, a study out of the University of Toronto found. The study, published Tuesday in Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts, says chlorinated paraffins were found in more than 87 per cent of tested household products, which ranged from baby rattles, toy cars, hand soap and headphones.


‘Forever chemicals’ known as PFAS found in SoCal water as UCI researchers study impact

In Southern California, an ABC7 analysis shows PFAS were found in more than 200 water systems, servicing more than 18 million people at some point over the last 10 years. “We all have these chemicals in our bodies, but we want less of them than we have,” said Scott Bartell, a professor of environmental occupational health at UC Irvine.

California makes strides to ban toxic ‘forever chemicals’ in artificial turf

On April 18, the California Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxics Materials Committee approved a measure that would ban the manufacturing and sale of artificial turf containing the toxic “forever chemicals” known as PFAS. Assembly Bill 1423 was introduced in California by Assemblymember Pilar Schiavo (D-Santa Clarita) and cleared the committee.


Colorado School of Mines Researchers Develop New Process to Eliminate PFAS

The School of Mines has created to new process to eliminate the PFAS, taking care of the issue of dumping toxic waste in landfills. The process, called Hydrothermal alkaline treatment or HALT, uses extremely hot boiling sand with a chemical reactant to eliminate PFAS without emissions.


PFAS lurking in US water supply as U of Illinois researchers develop filter technology

Toxic “forever chemicals” are lurking in our water sources across the country, including some parts of the Midwest. According to a new analysis by the ABC 7 Data Team, at least 143 million Americans are possibly drinking, bathing and cleaning with tap water from water systems where some level of these chemicals has been detected.


Fairfield had highest concentrations of PFAS in drinking water in 16-state study

The study was conducted by community members in 16 states — including Maine — and the Natural Resources Defense Council. The Council’s senior scientist Anna Reade says they found 26 PFAS chemicals in drinking water, 12 of which are not covered by EPA monitoring. A site in Fairfield had the highest concentrations of PFAS in the study.


Mass. firefighters and their families are on the front lines of a battle with ‘forever chemicals’

PFAS, which stands for per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a class of chemicals invented in the 1930s. They are used widely because they are good at making surfaces repel water, oil and grease. These chemicals are infused into the protective clothing firefighters wear.


Michiganders who drank PFAS have higher blood contaminant levels

A study has confirmed that Michiganders who drank water contaminated with PFAS chemicals in Kent and Kalamazoo counties have higher-than-average levels of the contaminants in their blood serum.


Minnesota House passes environmental omnibus bill, including legislation banning PFAS

The Minnesota House on Monday night passed the state’s largest-ever investment in natural resources and the environment, including legislation that prohibits dangerous “forever chemicals.”

New Mexico

New report reveals oil and gas companies fracked New Mexico wells with toxic PFAS

Previously unpublicized information unearthed by Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) shows that since at least 2013, oil and gas companies have used extremely toxic and persistent chemicals known as PFAS in New Mexico’s oil and gas wells.

North Carolina

Raleigh considers new drinking water standards

Over the past month, water departments across North Carolina have been looking into how these limits will change their cleaning processes. Ed Buchan has worked with Raleigh Water for 18 years and says it’s a complicated system of chemicals, filters and machinery.

South Carolina

Almost all SC surface water bodies contain ‘forever chemicals.’ Many exceed proposed standards

Nearly every surface water source in South Carolina has tested positive for “forever chemicals,” according to state environmental officials. Many sources, in fact, contain more than the new proposed federal maximum for the chemicals, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control said Wednesday.


Lawmakers call for action on bill that eliminates PFAS in everyday products

PFAS have been linked to causing various types of cancers in all ages, and Vermont lawmakers are attempting to pass a bill that would eliminate the sale of products with PFAS. If passed, it would be illegal for any business to sell clothes, cosmetic products, and menstrual products that contain harmful PFAS. Sports products that use PFAS, like ski wax and synthetic turf athletic fields, also fall under the bill.


Wisconsin to get $139 million for lead pipes, PFAS from federal government

Wisconsin will receive nearly $139 million in federal funding to upgrade drinking water infrastructure across the state, including replacing lead pipes and addressing “forever chemical” concerns.