Fluoride Action Network

Editorial: Land abuse comes back to haunt

August 22nd, 2014
Industry type: Perfluorinated chemicals

Now comes word that a couple of nasty chemical compounds — perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) — have contaminated drinking water supplies in two adjoining townships. And that the culprit is likely the U.S. Navy, which used firefighting foams containing the chemicals at the former Willow Grove Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Horsham and the former Naval Air Warfare Center in Warminster.

The immediate effect of the discovery of the compounds in both public and private wells has been a shutdown of the public supplies. Additionally, the EPA is testing private wells to see if additional action is necessary. Make no mistake. These compounds are bad news. PFOA has been linked to an increased risk of bladder, kidney and testicular cancer in people with workplace exposure. In rodent species, PFOS was seen to cause a number of birth defects…

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