PFAS Contamination in the U.S. (July 20, 2020)

Mapping the PFAS Contamination Crisis: New Data Show 2,230 Sites in 49 States

WHY IS THIS MAP IMPORTANT?

The extent of American communities’ confirmed contamination with the highly toxic fluorinated compounds known as PFAS continues to grow at an alarming rate. As of July 2020, 2,230 locations in 49 states are known to have PFAS contamination.

The latest update of this interactive map documents PFAS pollution in public and private water systems. (Details about our sources and methodology are here.) Information about sites newly added to the map comes from various PFAS detections reported to government agencies in Colorado, New Hampshire, North Carolina and other states.

Explore the Map

WHAT IS THE GOVERNMENT DOING?

The Environmental Protection Agency has known about the health hazards of PFAS for decades but has failed to limit PFAS discharges into the air and water or set cleanup standards. The agency recently released a so-called PFAS action plan, but it is woefully inadequate. The EPA plan will not address ongoing sources of PFAS pollution, will not clean up legacy pollution and will not even require reporting of toxic PFAS releases. (See the complete list of EWG’s recommendations for federal action on PFAS.)

In response, more than 30 bills have been introduced in the House and Senate to monitor the scope of PFAS contamination, require reporting of PFAS releases, address ongoing PFAS contamination, and clean up legacy PFAS pollution. States are also taking steps to address PFAS pollution by banning some uses of PFAS and setting cleanup standards.


The Environmental Working Group welcomes requests to reproduce EWG PFAS data for peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals. To request permission, please email a completed EWG Materials Request Form to [email protected]. EWG reviews requests on a case-by-case basis and reserves the right to deny permission for any reason, at its sole discretion.

Special thanks to EWG interns Braelyn Parkman, Rundong Ji, Joshua Pike, Connie Xiong and Andrew Rawlings for their contributions to this project.

About the Map

For all water systems with a detection of PFOS, PFOA or another PFAS, a maximum concentration for each PFAS and a maximum total PFAS concentration is displayed. The maximum levels listed are from a single point in time and do not reflect whether a water system has changed sources or is treating the water to reduce PFAS levels.

All locations represented on the map are approximate and intended to portray the general area of a contamination site or a community water system. Locations were mapped using the best data available from official records, including data provided by tests of public drinking water systems, the Safe Drinking Water Information System and the Department of Defense report “Addressing Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA),” among others.

Data on contaminated industrial and military sites was current as of May 2020.

Disclaimer: EWG has worked to ensure the accuracy of the information provided in this map. The map is dynamic. This contaminant site, results, suspected sources and other information in the database may change based on evolving science, new information or other factors. Please be advised that this information frequently relies on data obtained from many sources, and accordingly, EWG cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information provided or any analysis based thereon.

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