A new analysis finds military sites in Iowa and around the country have “forever chemicals” known as PFAS in their groundwater that exceed new health guidelines the Environmental Protection Agency set in June.
The toxic compounds found in firefighting foam are linked to cancer and birth defects. The EPA has lowered health advisory levels of two PFAS compounds from 70 parts-per-trillion to near zero.
Jared Hayes, with the Environmental Working Group, says two-thirds of U.S. military sites have PFAS contamination above the EPA’s new standards. “This contamination doesn’t end at the base line. And it has been shown to get into the communities across the U.S., into their drinking water and their wells of homes and nearby communities.”
The analysis says Iowa has three military sites with confirmed PFAS contamination. The Iowa Army Ammunition Plant in southeast Iowa has PFAS levels that would’ve been acceptable under the EPA’s previous health advisory, but now exceed new guidelines.