PFAS, or polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a family of chemicals that are used to make non-stick coatings such as Teflon. Sometimes called Forever Chemicals, they persist in the environment and body and have been linked to health issues such as hindered growth and learning and increased cancer risk.
There has been increasing concern about contamination from PFAS-containing firefighter foam that is used on military bases and some airports. The foam has previously been linked to groundwater contamination in neighboring communities. New reports show that PFAS chemicals have now been detected in milk and vegetables from farms located near military bases. Read more food contamination here.
How to Avoid Contaminated Foods
Federal and state agencies are testing samples from potentially contaminated farms, but until more is known it may be best to avoid food from farms that are located near contaminated sites. EWG has an interactive map that shows sites with known PFAS contamination.
The Air Force is recalling PFAS-containing foam from the U.S. and overseas, but they have not found a safe way to dispose of it once it is reclaimed. The foam is being contracted out to private businesses for incineration, but incineration may not fully destroy the chemical. There is an amendment before Congress to hold PFAC polluters accountable for cleaning up contaminated sites. Click here to learn how you can help.