ARE THERE TOXIC PFAS CHEMICALS IN YOUR DRINKING WATER?
PFAS (pronounced “PEA-FASS”) stands for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, a family of thousands of synthetic, highly toxic chemicals that have been used in a wide variety of manufacturing processes and consumer products. Those products include firefighting foam, nonstick cookware, water-repellant clothing, stain resistant carpets, cleaning products, cosmetics, dental floss, and more.
PFAS are toxic chemicals that have been found in the drinking water of a growing number of Wisconsin communities.
Even at extremely low levels, exposure to PFAS has been linked to an increased risk of cancer and other serious health problems.
PFAS exposure has been linked to an increased risk of cancer, reproductive and developmental problems, thyroid hormone disruption, high cholesterol, ulcerative colitis, negative impacts to the immune system, and more. Pregnant women and small children may be particularly vulnerable.
Despite the serious health risks, most Wisconsin municipalities
haven't tested their drinking water systems for PFAS.
There is currently no statewide requirement to test municipal drinking water supplies in Wisconsin, even though many neighboring states have already started to do so. Some communities—including Milwaukee, Madison, Marinette, Peshtigo, Rhinelander, La Crosse, Eau Claire and Wausau—have tested for PFAS, but many public water utilities in Wisconsin have not conducted comprehensive PFAS testing. Until they do, an unknown number of Wisconsin families will continue to drink contaminated water.