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Simpson Street Free Press

U.S. Military's PFAS Pollution Threatens Communities Nationwide

It is hard to imagine that the U.S. military, whose number one goal is to protect, is also one of the biggest contributors to the spread of chemicals that cause cancer, kidney disease, and many other serious health problems.

The military is one of the largest PFAS polluters in the world. PFAS are a group of 15,000 compounds that are used to make stain-, grease- and water-resistant products, making them extremely harmful to humans and animals. PFAS are also called “forever chemicals” because they are nearly indestructible.

PFAS in water is connected to birth defects, high cholesterol, decreased immunity, and much more. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared that less than one part per trillion (ppt) is safe to consume in drinking water. However, the levels of PFAS found around military bases have been much higher.

The military produces much higher levels due to the use of firefighting foam that is laced with chemicals and is discharged during emergencies and training.

The Department of Defense (DoD) has said that at least 245 U.S. military bases have PFAS flowing through them, contaminating or threatening the drinking water of nearby communities. Possibly hundreds more communities' drinking water all over America is also endangered. The Department of Defense has only looked into one-third of 700 locations that are believed to be contaminated and the number continues to increase.

At the moment, the military is only providing clean drinking water for the communities whose PFOA and PFOS, which are two kinds of PFAS, are above 70 ppt which is around 53 communities. The EPA is fighting to lower the legal limit to 4 ppt. This will make the Department of Defense provide clean water in most, if not all communities where the water is contaminated.

Scott Faber, VP of government affairs at the Environmental Working Group said, “Communities around the facilities must be frustrated because they in all likelihood are drinking from wells that are contaminated by the military, but the DoD is coming up short,” Faber said, “Inevitably we will get answers for these questions as we move through the process.”

[Source: The Guardian]

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