Yes, you read that excerpt correctly. One in five municipalities required by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to test for PFAS in their drinking water found them at concentrations higher than the Massachusetts standard of 20 parts per trillion (equivalent to 20 drops of water in an Olympic sized swimming pool). By way of comparison, the limit currently suggested by the Federal Government is 70 parts per trillion.
It isn't surprising that we're finding PFAS so many places. Some of the thousands of chemicals that are collectively referred to as PFAS have been used in everything from pizza boxes to sunblock to non-stick cookware since World War II. And they're mobile and persistent in the environment, earning them the moniker "forever chemicals" That's why they're found in groundwater beneath landfills, in sewage treatment sludge, and in the water we drink. We could just as easily also call them "everywhere chemicals".
Now the question is what to do about them. Certainly enough questions have been raised about the toxicity of at least some PFAS that we should be continuing to phase out our use of them (as has already been done some of the most notorious PFAS). But if the Government -- Federal or State -- is going to require treatment of drinking water to a standard like that set by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts we're going to need billions of dollars in Federal or State money to pay for the installation and operation of the expensive infrastructure needed to do that.
If you want to learn more about PFAS, check out this link to PFAS, PFAS All Around: What's Next that my friends at GZA Environmental and I offered last week: https://vimeo.com/553479434/daa0b91d02.
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