Last March, the Pentagon reported that the water at or around at least 126 military installations contains potentially harmful levels of perfluorinated compounds, which have been linked to cancers and developmental delays in fetuses and infants. These included 36 sites with drinking water contamination on-base, and more than 90 sites reporting either on-base or off-base drinking water or groundwater contamination. The man-made chemicals, which can be used to make items heat- or water-resistant, are found in everyday household, food and clothing items. At military bases, however, the compounds are concentrated in foam used to extinguish aircraft fires. The Department of Defense tested more than 2,000 groundwater wells both on and around bases, finding that 61 percent tested above EPA’s recommended levels. Alarms have been sounding for decades about the dangers posed to individuals by PFAS. Now, it appears that PFAS could be a threat to food security.
Chemicals in groundwater force dairy shutdown: Forced to make a nightmare decision no farmer wants to make, the owner of a New Mexico dairy has been dumping 15,000 gallons of milk each day, has let his 40 employees go, and will have to euthanize his entire 4,000-head herd. Art Schaap learned that seven of his 13 wells were contaminated by a toxic chemical called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which has been shown to cause adverse health outcomes in both humans and animals. The chemicals seeped into Schaap’s wells though the groundwater at the nearby Cannon Air Force base. READ MORE
What you need to know about PFAS: News that Art Schaap of Clovis, New Mexico is selling his dairy because his wells have been contaminated by a group of chemicals routinely used in Air Force training spread like wildfire throughout the dairy community. Here’s what we think you need to know about PFAS. READ MORE
Toxic timeline: More than 1,000 studies over the past 40 years — some by the U.S. military — show that PFOA and PFOS endanger the planet and public health. They persist in the environment forever and bioaccumulate in animals. In humans, they’re linked to cancer, thyroid disease, reduced immunity, high cholesterol, birth defects and other threats. And manufacturers, the Environmental Protection Agency and the military have looked the other way.
People in eight states will be tested: People who live near current or former military installations in eight states will have their blood and urine examined by government officials who seek to understand the extent of residents’ exposure to PFAS, according to the CDC and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services. The communities are in Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Massachusetts, New York, Texas, Washington, and West Virginia. READ MORE
More wells may be contaminated: The U.S. Navy is moving forward with the investigative phase of a well water sampling program that found potentially dangerous levels of chemicals in the drinking water of at least two residential wells in the area surrounding Marine Corps Outlying Landing Field Atlantic. READ MORE