Nearly Half of U.S. Tapwater Contaminated With Chemicals

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Almost half of the tapwater in the United States is contaminated with chemicals known as “forever chemicals,” according to a new study from the U.S. Geological Survey.

Exposure to per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), known as “forever chemicals,” through drinking water is a global human-health concern, according to the study published in the August edition of Environment International journal.

The research team conducted a national reconnaissance to compare human PFAS exposures in unregulated private-well and regulated public-supply tapwater.

Tapwater from 716 locations across the United States was collected during 2016 to 2021 including three locations where temporal sampling was conducted.

The team estimated that at least one PFAS could be detected in about 45 percent of U.S. drinking-water samples.

The study calls for further assessments of cumulative health risks of PFAS as a class and in combination with other co-occurring contaminants.