PFAS

Fact Sheet

Beefalo hybrid of cattle and bison

The absence of any federal standards for tracking and managing wastes contaminated with per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) poses a major and growing threat to our health, water, and soil. A key cause for concern is that these so-called “forever chemicals” are toxic, do not break down in the environment, and bio-accumulate in the food chain— and in us.

There are around 500 facilities producing, importing, and discharging PFAS. PFAS are used as fire retardants and repellents, and are used in consumer products such as furniture, take out containers, and non-stick cookware, among many other applications. Human exposure to PFAS is associated with cancer, birth defects, developmental damage to infants, and impaired functioning of the liver, kidneys, and immune system.

Yet, an estimated 200 million Americans are drinking water contaminated with PFAS and the compounds have also been found in grocery store meats, milk, seafood, off-the-shelf cake mixes, as well as in wild fish and game. Studies have also found PFAS in the bloodstream of 99% of humans.

Despite the fact that the EPA knows of around 9,252 types of PFAS, the EPA has failed to set a legal limit for PFAS in drinking water, clean up existing PFAS pollution, reduce ongoing releases of PFAS, or ban PFAS from everyday products. The only action taken has been to issue a health advisory, despite the fact that there are more than 2,230 known contaminated sites. This number will surely grow as more communities begin testing. This contamination is due to, among other factors:

    • Dumping of materials containing PFAS;
    • PFAS leaching from landfills into groundwater, the primary source of drinking water for half the nation; and,
    • Sewage sludge applied on land and as fertilizer is often contaminated with PFAS.

PEER is urging EPA to regulate PFAS as a class of chemicals and to classify all forms of waste contaminated with PFAS as a hazardous waste under the Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA) in order to safely manage the PFAS waste from the moment it is generated, while it is transported, treated or stored, until it is disposed.

PFAS News and Resources

NEWS FROM PEER

Removal of Toxic PFAS from Firefighter Gear Blocked  

High Levels of Forever Chemicals Infused in Protective Turnout Gear   

Webinar | Toxic Chemicals, Whistleblowers, and the Need for Reform at EPA

New and dangerous chemicals are being approved at an alarming rate by EPA.

Drive for PFAS-Free Firefighter Gear Hits a Wall

Industry Controls Turnout Gear Standards; Critical Vote Tomorrow 

BLOG | The Chemistry Council’s PFAS Disinformation Campaign

The American Chemistry Council is trying to convince federal and state legislators that PFAS isn't a problem that ...

Letter to Rep. Cyr and Sen. Hogan about June 16, 2021 PFAS Interagency Task Force Hearing (PDF)

DESCRIPTION: Inaccuracies and Misinformation in the June 16, 2021 PFAS Interagency Task Force Hearing TO: ...

Letter to Michael Regan – pesticides – 06-15-2021 (PDF)

DESCRIPTION: Letter to EPA regarding the improper fast-tracked approval of pesticides containing PFAS and (up to ...

Flea-Control Products Found to Be Infested With Forever Chemicals 

High PFAS Levels Pose Additional Risks to Pets, Owners 

BLOG | New England States Must Act on PFAS in Pesticides

PFAS laden pesticides being sprayed aerially to control mosquitoes is yet another exposure to this ubiquitous ...

Webinar | Long Island’s Toxic Forever Chemicals

The EPA’s failure to regulate PFAS is causing tremendous health, environmental, and economic damage on Long Island.

BLOG | Dunn Landfill’s Environmental Injustice

Dunn Landfill in New York impacts the residents of Rensselaer with problems like truck traffic, odor, dust and leachate.

BLOG | It’s Time to Ban Most PFAS Uses

Congress needs to step up and ban all but essential uses of PFAS and hold polluters accountable. Every delay in ...

6 Things You Should Know About PFAS

PFAS is a ubiquitous chemical that is found in a range of everyday products. Here are six things you should know ...

PFAS Found in Widely Used Insecticide  

Environmental groups call on EPA and Maryland to find and eliminate source 

Letter to Maryland Dept of Agriculture and Environments – PFAS in mosquito control – 03/24/2021 (PDF)

DESCRIPTION: Letter to inform Maryland Department of Agriculture and Maryland Department of the Environment about ...

Letter to Michael Regan – PFAS in mosquito control – 03/24/2021 (PDF)

DESCRIPTION: Letter to inform EPA about the presence of PFAS in the pesticide Permanone 30-30 used by Maryland and ...

PEERMail | Fraud in EPA’s Chemical Assessments 

Toxic chemicals that are banned elsewhere continue to flood onto the U.S. market and fraudulent studies at the EPA ...

BLOG | EPA’s Bad Chemistry Is Killing Us 

We cannot afford to wait for EPA to finally become a 21st century regulator of harmful chemicals that find our way ...

PEER Requests Florida Take Immediate Action 

To Stop Leaching of Toxic Chemicals into Consumer Products 

EPA Confirms PFAS in Aerial Pesticides  

Regulatory Loopholes Allow Massive Spread of Toxic “Forever Chemicals”

PEERMail: We Need a Radical Departure on Pesticides

The federal law that provides for  regulation of pesticides has proven utterly inadequate and we need a radical ...

Beyond 2020: Pesticides

Recommendations to Congress and the EPA to protect the environment and public health from the dangers of pesticides.

California Should Ban Pesticides with Forever Chemicals   

Presence of PFAS in Insecticide Magnifies Agricultural Water Pollution Risks 

BLOG | Time to Break the PFAS Bond

We need Congress and the EPA to stop the introduction of PFAS into the environment and our water sources to protect

Aerially Sprayed Pesticide Contains PFAS  

“Forever Chemicals” Potentially Spread Over Millions of Acres 

PEERMail: Aerial Spraying PFAS in Massachusetts

Massachusetts communities struggle with PFAS contamination in their water supplies. One source of this ...

More PFAS Found in Maryland Water and Seafood  

Maryland Must Set Health Standards for Toxic “Forever Chemical”  

Alarming PFAS Levels in Delray Beach Drinking Water  

Toxic “Forever Chemicals” May be Accumulating in Drinking Water Aquifer  

BLOG | What is the EPA Hiding?

The EPA is crippling the Environmental Appeals Board, disempowering communities and enabling polluters.

Toxic PFAS Taints Delray And Boynton Beach 

Florida Needs to Develop Monitoring Program and Safety Standards 

Kyla Bennett talks to MWRA about PFAS

New England PEER Director, Kyla Bennett talks to Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) on the topic of PFAS.

PFAS in Colorado: Fact Sheet

PFAS are a man-made chemical that are used in the manufacture of consumer goods including cookware, ...

PFAS Taints Upper Hudson Valley

New York State Must Act to Close Toxic Landfill

PEER Obtains Evidence of “Forever Chemicals” at Air Force Academy

Washing Your Hands Can’t Stop PFAS in Water

Massachusetts PFAS Plan Good Start, But Too Limited

Sets Limits too High, Omits Thousands of PFAS and Fails to Address Sources

Groups Petition EPA to Regulate PFAS Waste

Absence of any federal standards for tracking and managing wastes contaminated with toxic polyfluoroalkyl ...

Colorado Lags in Controlling Forever Chemicals

Dangerous Levels of PFAS in Drinking Water Without Enforceable Limits

BLOG: Dark Waters and the Threat of PFAS Chemicals

We aren’t usually in the movie promotion business, but we did want to tell you about the movie Dark Waters and how ...

Fertilizers Spread Forever Chemicals Across U.S. 

Biosolids Carry High PFAS Content; Often Produced at Taxpayer Expense   

PEERMail: Huge Victory by PEER

Why would Massachusetts spend millions to control and remove toxic PFAS from its waters, while at the same time let

Massachusetts Issues Permit for PFAS It Is Fighting

Big Discharge Slated for Merrimack River – Water Source for Half-Million

Industry in a Dither about PFAS in Synthetic Turf

Non-Denials and Trade Secret Claims Prompt More Testing of Carpet

Toxic Forever Chemicals Infest Artificial Turf

Processing aids that contaminate synthetic turf with PFAS may be in other plastic goods

Letter to Administrator Wheeler to Regulate Wastes Containing PFAS Under Subtitle C of RCRA (PDF)

DESCRIPTION: Petition for Rulemaking Pursuant to Section 6974(a) of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act ...

Forever Chemical Requires Cradle-to-Grave Approach

To Stem Exponential Spread All PFAS Chains Must Be Classified Hazardous

PEERMail: A Growing Water Crisis

As two PEER staffers, we are here to let you know some of the water issues we are working on and why we are ...

EPA Response To “Forever Chemical” Crisis A Total Dud

“Action Plan” Too Weak and Limited to Meaningfully Protect Public Health

Trump’s Rapidly Shriveling PFAs Response

Extensive Edits Embedded in Public Comment Page Eviscerate EPA Action Plan

PEERMail: Water Hypocrisy

With cronyism and influence peddling the norm in most government circles, we have been busier than ever. Below, ...

CDC Punts on Studying PFAS Cancer Risks

Study to look at relationship between PFAS exposure and select health outcomes

PFAS Use in U.S. Skyrockets

EPA Not Stemming Massive Introductions of "Short-Chain" PFAS Chemicals

Massachusetts Needs a PFAS Public Health Advisory for Game

“Forever Chemical” Buildup in Food Chain Affects Game and Fish in Toxic Hotspots

Navy Buries Forever Chemical Contamination in Socal

Lawsuit Seeks Data on PFAS Plumes Under Closed El Toro and Tustin Air Stations

PFAS Breakthrough in Massachusetts

Army to Give Both Immediate Relief and Long-Term Treatment for Hard-Hit Town

Massachusetts Scarred by “Forever Chemical” Contamination

Bay State’s Widespread and Severe PFAS Levels Are Test for New EPA Action Plan