Every day, third-generation dairy farmer Art Schaap milks his 1,800 cows at his farm in Clovis, New Mexico. But not one drop of the 15,000 gallons he produces reaches any customers. Every gallon is dumped, every single day, due to PFAS contamination.
Here’s why that’s important:
What is PFAS Contamination?
PFAS is an acronym that refers to per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances.
They are man-made chemicals that are widely used for their properties, such as being resistant to heat, water, and oil. Chances are, you've been exposed to some form of them in your life.
In 2018, Schaap received shattering news. 7 out of his 13 wells had been contaminated by PFAS.
The group of toxins is sometimes referred to as the “Forever Chemicals” because of their reluctance to disintegrate or safely decompose.
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How Dangerous is PFAS?
These chemicals have been used in everyday items…including non-stick kitchenware, water repellents, cleaning products, and firefighting foams…for decades.
But - scientists are now confident that these widespread chemicals are far from benign.
The potential effects of exposure to PFAS include:
- Liver damage
- Hormone disruption
- High Cholesterol
- Thyroid Disease
- Decreased sperm count
In Schaap’s case, his entire life has been devastated. His land, crops, and cattle have been contaminated by groundwater that contained firefighting foam, used in training at an Air Force Base nearby.
What is the Government Doing About PFAS Regulation?
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There is mounting pressure on officials to act and for transparency to prevail – there is a concern that information about the public’s exposure to PFAS is being suppressed.
When the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report was finally made public, it revealed that the so-called ‘safe limit’ for PFAS should be set 7 to 10 times lower than the level the EPA claimed was safe.
Is PFAS in Drinking Water Around the World?
In the EU, the use of PFAS is heavily regulated and used far less than in the US.
Canada has pronounced these chemicals to be toxic substances and has since prohibited its use and import.
In America, it’s in the drinking water of 16 million homes.
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What is the PFAS news like in the area where you live? Have you read any press about local contamination or regulation?
Please let us know if you have – advising and informing our customers about water issues is something we DEEPLY we care about.