Discovering PFAS in New Hampshire: risks and remediation

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Student Showcase of Research & Engagement Fall 2019
DiRado, Eliza
PFAS's are a group of human made chemicals found in both consumer and industrial products. Originally, they were developed by the company 3M to produce nonstick and waterproof materials like Teflon. Although certain PFAS's have been banned, they are now being discovered in landfills and water sources across NH in various concentrations, some alarmingly high. Investigations regarding the chemicals persistence in the environment began in NH in 2014. Little comprehensive scientific evidence exists in relation to contaminant quantities and their health risks. Regardless of the lack of long-term studies, NH Department of Environmental Services must regularly test water sources across the state for compliance with new regulations, beginning in 2019. NH now has one of the lowest “maximum contaminant loads��? allowed for PFAS's in the US. While this standard sounds beneficial, it is controversial for a number of reasons, including who is going to absorb the cost of testing and how is the ubiquitous contaminant going to be removed. Major goals of this study are: 1) to raise awareness about the role the consumer plays by buying products containing PFAS's, 2) compare and contrast the different policies regarding regulation and management of chemicals in the US versus the European Union.