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What's New with PFAS
June 2022
Current PFAS Project Lab members (June 2022)

About the PFAS Project Lab
The PFAS Project Lab studies social, scientific, and political factors related to Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). We produce rigorous, accessible research about the PFAS contamination crisis through collaborations with impacted communities, leading interdisciplinary researchers, and nonprofits. We share this PFAS research with impact communities and a broad range of other stakeholders. 

The PFAS Project Lab's NSF-funded research investigates the discovery and re-discovery of per- and polyfluorinated chemicals (or PFASs), a class of carbon-fluorine-based chemicals widely used in industrial production and found in numerous consumer products.  Exposure to certain PFASs has been linked to various human health effects, including immunodeficiencies, thyroid disorders, elevated cholesterol, birth defects, and some cancers. This project seeks to understand the confluence of actors and conditions necessary for the periodic discoveries of the health and environmental impacts of these chemicals.  Additionally, this project will focus on how selected contamination episodes have impacted the awareness, regulation and research related to this class of chemicals.

Read  more  about the PFAS  project  on our website.

This newsletter will provide a periodic overview of the latest developments in PFAS science, regulation, events, and activism. It features contributions (in no particular order) from various PFAS-related research groups, advocacy organizations, and  community activist groups; along with highlights in PFAS news media. Many thanks to our collaborators for their great work!

Queries and suggestions can be directed to our email:
To keep up with the lab group follow us on Twitter! 
Join the mailing list for this newsletter here.

Updates From Our Lab


The Air Force and AFFF Training: A Photo Series 

Brad Creacy served as a firefighter in the U.S. Air Force from 1974 to 1985 and then as a civilian airport firefighter until 2001. He photographed this striking series at Hahn (1977) and Sembach (1984) Air Bases in Germany. Aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) containing PFAS was used in military firefighter training exercises to extinguish fires that were intentionally ignited in pits. Brad came across the PFAS project website while researching the connection between PFAS exposure and thyroid cancer, and has kindly shared his photos with us to educate others. You can view the photo series and learn more about the AFFF training exercise on our website.

Updates From The Field

From Green Science Policy Institute

This month, the Green Science Policy Institute used its communications strategy to publicize two important new papers on PFAS. 

The first was a systematic review of human and animal studies which found a robust link between certain PFAS and liver damage. The authors suggest PFAS exposure may be contributing to the growing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease epidemic. It was covered by Consumer Reports, The Hill, Medscape, Salon, Verywell Health, and more. 

The second was an analysis concluding that federal and state public health agencies are understating the scientific evidence surrounding PFAS toxicity in their public communications (webpages, fact sheets, clinical guidance, etc.). Particularly notable was the failure of most messaging to address the greater risks and needs of highly exposed populations. It was covered by E&E News, WHQR, the Fayetteville Observer, Medpage Today, and more.  

Do you want to boost the impact of your research through media outreach? You can find tips, templates, and videos on our website. For additional advice or coaching, reach out to Rebecca Fuoco at


From Nantucket PFAS Action Group

Artificial Turf was voted down at Martha's Vineyard by planning board over concerns of PFAS leaching into the sole source aquifer. Read more about this story by Eve Zuckoff: 
Major blow dealt to M.V. school’s synthetic field project, as Planning Board votes no

A community grant from TURI at UMass Lowell supported Nantucket PFAS Action Group working with Dr. Courtney Carignan and partnering with Nantucket and Fall River Firefighters to to replace some firefighter gear containing PFAS, study the impacts of this replacement, and educate firefighters about PFAS and safer alternatives. Read more about the study in this article by Jason Graziadei:
Island firefighters embark on pioneering PFAS study

The Massachusetts Interagency Task Force met for a final time on April 11 to finalize their regulatory recommendations. Read more about the report in this article by Eve Zuckoff:
Mass. task force takes aim at eliminating ‘forever chemicals’ from consumer products 


From the Ecology Center

In a new study, the Ecology Center’s Healthy Stuff Lab tested 19 car seats, including three from the European Union, from 11 different brands for PFAS. Four of the car seats came bundled with matching strollers, which were also tested. These recent findings are based on the Ecology Center’s independent testing and a comprehensive review of manufacturer claims. 

  • Some car seats and strollers use PFAS for water and stain resistance.

  • Four of 19 (21%) had total organic fluorine at levels suggesting use of a PFAS-based fabric treatment. Car seat companies confirmed in private communications that PFAS-treated fabrics are still used on some products. 

  • None of the three E.U. seats had likely PFAS.

  • Of the 4 stroller-car seat combos (travel systems) tested, two had elevated fluorine in both the car seat and stroller fabrics. Two did not have elevated fluorine in either.

  • Car seat fabrics were also subjected to a water drop test. On fabrics with elevated organic fluorine, indicating likely PFAS treatment, water drops beaded up, rolled around, and left no residue. On fabrics without elevated organic fluorine, water drops soaked in, showing the lack of a water-resistant treatment. See our water drop test video here

  • Some companies have found other ways to achieve water resistance. Wool fabric, like that used by UPPAbaby’s Henry and Jordan fabrics and Clek’s Mammoth fabric, naturally repels water. Alternatively, Clek utilizes a PFAS-free coating in their C-Zero fabric line. 

Choosing a PFAS-Free Car Seat 

The Ecology Center also scoured car seat brand websites and had private discussions with companies to determine which brands, among those we tested for this study, offer car seats with and without added PFAS. These survey results are summarized in the below table. We also noted which brands have seats with removable covers, which allows for easy washing, mitigating the need for water-repellency and stain-repellency. 

The specific seats found to likely contain PFAS in this study were Baby Trend Envy (Bobbleheads), Chicco Key Fit 30 (Lilla), Evenflo Nurture (Grace Pink), and Graco Verb Click Connect (Merrick).

From PFOA Project NY 

The New York State Water Quality Council is moving to regulate more PFAS. It is adding proposed MCLs of 10 ppt each for PFHxS, PFHpA, PFNA and PFDA (for a total of 6 PFAS, including PFOA and PFOS which already have MCLs) with additional 2 tiers of others for notifications, for a total 23 PFAS for regulation or notification levels. Possible combined total of the 6 MCLs was requested and being considered. The final draft of these regulations will be available for public comment in June.


Madhvi Chittoor – Meet the “Ban PFAS” Girl 


My mission is to fight against non-green convenience and greedy economics to protect ecosystems, natural resources, and public health.” So says 11-year-old Madhvi Chittoor, a powerhouse passionate Climate Warrior and a United Nations Child Advisor from Colorado.

She was inspired to take action against PFAS when she heard about lawsuits filed against DuPont for discharging chemicals into the environment back in 2017 when she was 6 years old. Prior to her work with PFAS, she had already taken up plastic and styrofoam pollution when she was 5 years old and had been known as the “No Styrofoam Ninja.” 

Since 2017, she has made it a point to focus on PFAS in all her speeches to raise awareness and bring about legislation to ban them in consumer products. “Many know PFAS as human-made chemicals used in fire-fighting foam but are unaware of them being used in many consumer products like cookware, apparel, rugs, carpets, packaging material, and more.” In 2020, she testified before the Colorado air quality, water quality, and oil and gas conservation commissions regarding PFAS discharges by oil and fracking companies like Suncor. In March of 2021, she had policy discussions regarding source mitigation regulations of PFAS with officials from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. When asked by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to make a video for COP26 on “What makes a Healthy City?” Madhvi focused on PFAS.  

After the plastic bill that banned Styrofoam containers and single-use plastic bags was successfully signed into law in July 2021, Madhvi met with Colorado State Representative Lisa Cutter to discuss PFAS. Madhvi convinced her to bring this issue as a bill in the state’s 2022 legislative session. Madhvi told Ms. Cutter, “When all of our aquifers are polluted, where will we get our drinking water from? When our ponds, lakes, and rivers are polluted, where will the fish live? What water will the animals drink? What water will the farmers use to grow our crops? When our soils are polluted, where will the farmers grow their crops? Our fish, dairy, beef, poultry - everything is contaminated with PFAS. We must put an end to this PFAS.” Representative Cutter was moved by Madhvi’s determination and brought the bill HB22-1345 to ban PFAS from consumer products. Madhvi called the bill the “Drinking Water, Food, and Children’s Health Bill.”

Madhvi also worked with Colorado Governor Jared Polis to declare March PFAS Pollution Impact Awareness Month. On Feb 25, 2022, Governor Polis approved and declared March PFAS Pollution Impact Awareness Month. On March 26th, Madhvi organized the PFAS Pollution Impact International Awareness Seminar with Dr. Philippe Grandjean from Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, who participated as the Chief Guest of Honor. Also, Madhvi met with dairy and vegetable farmers from Maine, Arizona, and Michigan as well as scientists and invited them to be panelists at the international seminar. The seminar had nearly 350 registrations from India, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Qatar, the U.S., U.K., Gambia, Mozambique, and other countries from all sectors of society including students, professors, scientists, government heads, gardeners, and laypeople. 

After the seminar, Madhvi testified before the House Energy and Environment Committee and the Senate Finance Committee urging legislators to vote YES on Colorado’s bill banning PFAS. Finally, on June 3, 2022, HB22-1345 was signed into law by Governor Polis. This is a monumental bill and is the first in the U.S. to ban PFAS use in the oil and gas industry. Madhvi is also working with EPA and foreign governments to bring about PFAS regulation. “I will not stop fighting until PFAS are banned in every nook and corner of the world” says Madhvi. 

Please visit to read about Madhvi’s environmental work and accomplishments in protecting public health. You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook



From Pat Elder, Military Poisons

Canals at Kapolei and Sand Island carry PFAS to the Ocean in Oahu, Hawaii - Hawaii looks the other way

A surface water sample we collected from Kapolei, Hawaii contained 119.9 parts per trillion (ppt) of total PFAS, including 29.5 ppt of PFOS. It was collected on March 26, 2022 at 11:00 am at the canal near Barbers Point where it intersects with Cruz Road near Pearl Harbor National Wildlife Refuge in Kapolei.  

On Oahu, pipelines from the Kapolei refinery believed to be owned by Par Hawaii feed terminals at Honolulu International Airport, Honolulu Harbor, and military installations. Pipelines also deliver products to Kalaeloa Barbers Point Harbor, where they are transferred to ships and barges that supply the Neighbor Islands. 

We don’t know if Par Hawaii is responsible for the levels of PFAS in surface waters. We don’t know who is responsible, but the activity that is causing it must cease and the perpetrators ought to be held responsible. 

 Sand Island - The levels we found on Sand Island were nearly identical to the concentrations we found in Kapolei. Here, we discovered 117.1 parts per trillion (ppt) of total PFAS with 36.4 ppt of  PFOS in a canal draining into the ocean near Honolulu's Sand Island Wastewater Treatment Plant. The service area for the existing Sand Island Wastewater Treatment Plant includes the U.S. Army facilities at Fort Shafter and Tripler Army Medical Center. The sample was collected on January 5, 2022 at 6:00 pm.

We were hampered by our access to military, industrial, and municipal sources of contamination on Oahu. Barbed wire and armed guards greet environmental activists seeking water samples. We sampled Halawa Stream two miles from the military’s Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility. We’ve been able to get much closer to the sources of contamination in other states and this explains the levels we found in these locations:  

JB Charleston, SC - 2,997.6 ppt  

Fort George G. Meade’s wastewater treatment plant, MD -  2,306.2 ppt 

Naval Research Laboratory - Chesapeake Bay Detachment MD -  6,058 ppt

JB Andrews, MD -  2,781.8 ppt

Former Plattsburgh AFB, NY - 7,941.7 ppt 

Hawaii has been in denial about PFAS. It’s time officials in the Aloha State begin a robust testing regime to determine PFAS levels in surface waters draining from likely military, industrial and municipal sites.  The state must test seafood to protect public health.  

From Sierra Club — PFAS Disposal Virtual Symposium

Sierra Club joined the Cancer Free Economy Network and CHEJ to host a 2 afternoon, virtual symposium on PFAS disposal. Current methods of getting rid of PFAS waste are ineffective and spread waste from one community to another. Panelists in session 1 described the history of failure for landfills and waste incinerators and reasons why PFAS chemicals won't stay contained by these tools. Panelists in session 2 discussed locations where impacted communities, lawyers, and advocates have halted the construction or use of incinerators to dispose of waste fire fighting foam and contaminated biosolids. Panel 3 discussed the funding and development of new technologies that can safely destroy PFAS compounds, and how to gauge which of these is the best for different types of waste. 

You can receive a recording of the event by contacting the Cancer Free Economy Network ( 

From Environmental Justice Task Force Tucson

Mothers for Safe Air Safe Water is happy to announce that Linda Shosie is going to the PFAS Conference in Wilmington, NC this June. Linda will be on the environmental justice panel sharing her perspectives on the PFAS groundwater pollution in the Tucson area and how it impacts racial and ethnic communities down to the residential level. Linda is going to take attendees on a virtual tour through the predominant Hispanic barrio in the Tucson south side area, which has been polluted for decades and is still undergoing clean up of numerous toxic chemicals. She will also show attendees first hand of how PFAS water pollution has disproportionately impacted some people more than others. The goal is to empower more Hispanic American, African American, and Native American people's involvement in the environmental justice movement. We want to send a special shout-out to the National PFAS Contamination Coalition Leader Emily Donavan who made it possible for people like Linda to have a voice at the conference. We also send a special thanks to Dr. Alissa Cordner from Whitman College and Dr. Phil Brown from Northeastern University for all the time and support they put in to make the environmental justice panel possible. Find more information about Environmental Justice Task Force Tucson here

From Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger
 The Department of Defense currently operates 38 toxic burn sites in the U.S., mostly in low-income, rural communities. At these sites, the military collects excess, obsolete, or unserviceable munitions, including bullets, missiles, mines, and the bulk explosive and flammable materials used to manufacture them, and destroys them by adding diesel and lighting them on fire, or by blowing them up. Last fiscal year, the Department of Defense destroyed 32.7 million pounds of explosive hazardous waste on U.S. soil using these methods, known as open burning and open detonation.”

Click here to sign a petition to the President, U.S. EPA Administrator, and all ten Regional Administrators calling for the immediate implementation of safer alternatives to open air burning, open detonation and incineration/combustion of military munitions.

Read more about military burn pits in this article by Julia Kane for the Grist.

Thanks for reading the June 2022 Edition of the PFAS Project Newsletter. We are excited to share these updates from our partners around the country.
Make sure to check out our website for PFAS news and lab updates, follow our Twitter @PFASProject, and share with friends below!

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PFAS in the News


Pentagon halts burning of forever chemicals (The Hill)

EPA takes important steps to curb 'forever chemicals' in water, but more is needed (EWG)

Sen. Gillibrand, Rep. Kildee introduce landmark bill to protect firefighters from PFAS in foam (Safer Chemicals Healthy Families & Toxic Free Futures)

EU unveils plan for 'largest ever ban' on dangerous chemicals (The Guardian)

New England governors approve transformative laws on 'forever chemicals' (The Hill)

Scientists sound alarm at US regulator's new 'forever chemicals' definition (The Guardian)


New technology seeks to destroy toxic "forever chemicals" in drinking water (CBS News)

Study shows regular blood donation could remove PFAS from firefighters’ bodies (ABC News)

Exposure to 'forever chemicals' may raise diabetes risk in middle-aged women: study (The Hill)

New report links PFAS exposure to liver damage (Consumer Reports)


Study reveals Suncor PFAS pollution in surface water and municipal drinking water systems (Earthjustice)

​​Over half of child car seats have toxic flame retardants and PFAS - US study (The Guardian)

‘Green’ children's products not always PFAS-free, warns new study (Environmental Health News)

Microbes can degrade the toughest PFAS (Science Daily)

PFAS elimination using supercritical water oxidation (Waste and Water Digest)

Other News

Chemours claims toxic PFAS chemical GenX protects the environment (The Intercept)

McDonald’s and Burger King are being sued for use of ‘forever chemicals’ in packaging (Today)

'A worldwide public health threat': Rob Bilott on his 20-year fight against forever chemicals (The Guardian)

'Weak language': Analysis finds that government agencies downplay PFAS risks (The Fayetteville Observer)

Farming organizations raise more than $1 million to assist farmers affected by PFAS contamination (Morning Sentinel)


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