PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a large group of human-made chemicals that have been used in industry and consumer products worldwide since the 1950s. These chemicals are used to make household and commercial products that resist heat and chemical reactions and repel oil, stains, grease and water. PFAS chemicals include PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) and PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonic acid).
PFAS chemicals from household and commercial products may find their way into water, soil, and biosolids. As a result, PFAS have been found found in people, fish, and wildlife all over the world. Some PFAS do not break down easily and therefore stay in the environment for a very long time, especially in water. Some PFAS can also stay in people’s bodies for a long time.
What is Vermont doing to address PFAS?
The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources through the Department of Environmental Conservations is working with the Vermont Department of Health to continue to identify sources and reduce the use, release, and public exposure of PFAS in Vermont.
The department has been working on PFAS since 2016 when widespread groundwater contamination was discovered in Bennington. Review the PFAS Road Map, which outlines strategic priorities relating to PFAS and summarizes the actions taken by DEC to address PFAS in Vermont. The department is planning to release an update to its roadmap early in 2023.
For any questions or concerns, call the PFAS hotline at 802-693-0206.