What are PFAS and why are they a problem?

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a family of chemicals used since the 1950s to manufacture stain-resistant, water-resistant, and non-stick products. PFAS are widely used in common consumer products as coatings, on food packaging, outdoor clothing, carpets, leather goods, ski and snowboard waxes, and more. Certain types of firefighting foam—historically used by the U.S. military, local fire departments, and airports to fight oil and gasoline fires—may contain PFAS. PFAS in drinking water is an important emerging issue nationwide. Because PFAS are water soluble, over time PFAS from some firefighting foam, manufacturing sites, landfills, spills, air deposition from factories and other releases can seep into surface soils. From there, PFAS can leach into groundwater or surface water, and can contaminate drinking water. PFAS have also been found in rivers, lakes, fish, and wildlife.

The basics surrounding PFAS compounds and their potential for contamination

C.O.MM Water Department PFAS Summary Update

PFAS Resources

These links provided are to give public access to regulatory and educational resources concerning PFAS.

MA DEP PFAS Website: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/per-and-polyfluoroalkyl-substances-pfas

MWWA PFAS website: https://www.safewatermass.org

Association of State Drinking Water Administrators PFAS webpage: https://www.asdwa.org/pfas/

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Public Health Statement for PFOS and PFOA can be found at: https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/pfas/index.html

EPA PFAS Website: https://www.epa.gov/pfas

Interstate Technology & Regulatory Council (ITRC) PFAS Website: https://pfas-1.itrcweb.org/

Any questions please contact, Craig Crocker, Superintendent C.O.MM Water Department ccrocker@commfiredistrict.com