Things to Know About Forever Chemicals - or - PFAS  

They’re in every American home, your car, work, some clothes and cosmetics and they’ve been around for a long time, way back to the 1940’s. PFAS are manmade compounds, used for their resistance to heat, water, and oil. Think: nonstick pots and pans, stain resistant fabric and carpet, pizza boxes, fast-food wrappers, water-resistant clothing. Technically, PFAS are per and polyfluoroalkyl substances with more than 3,000 chemical varieties. 

“Just like pharmaceuticals and many household chemicals, wastewater treatment plants are not designed to remove PFAS. That’s why we’re going to help test and monitor the water we receive from industry and 1.1 million people, so scientists can get a much better handle on the impacts of these emerging contaminants on the human body and the environment.”

                    -    Kevin Shafer, MMSD Executive Director

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently announced that it will regulate PFAS, a process that will take years to finalize. Some of that work may include determining an allowable limit of PFAS in drinking water. Critics contend that setting a limit without knowing health impacts for thousands of different compounds could force some communities to spend massive amounts of money on treatment upgrades that may not provide any health benefits.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is expected to announce in spring of 2020 that it's identified a certified lab for processing samples in Wisconsin.