High ‘forever chemicals’ levels found in drinking water of more communities near DOD sites

WASHINGTON – Dangerously high levels of the toxic “forever chemicals known as PFAS have been detected in the drinking water of more communities near Department of Defense installations.

Data released last week by the DOD found high levels of PFOA, PFOS, PFHxS and other PFAS in the areas near military bases in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania,  South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Washington. (The chart below shows areas near bases with detects. Scroll left to right to see additional results.)

DOD installation

Branch

PFOA Maximum detection (in ppt*)

PFOS Maximum detection (in ppt)

PFBS Maximum detection (in ppt)

PFHxS Maximum detection (in ppt)

PFHxA Maximum detection (in ppt)

Highest PFOA+PFOS (in ppt) at single well

Alaska

Eielson AFB

Air Force

3.5

5.5

1.8

10

3.2

9

Arizona

Luke AFB

Air Force

ND

28.3

ND

ND

23.4

28.3

California

Travis AFB

Air Force

ND

ND

ND

ND

ND

ND

Castle AFB

Air Force

88.7

535

29.1

297

91.6

603.2

March AFB

Air Force

110

230

47

270

180

340

Mather AFB

Air Force

10

36

10

79

23

44.5

Colorado

Peterson AFB

Air Force

99

95

70

440

140

194

Delaware

Dover AFB

Air Force

18.2

28.9

12.3

ND

ND

47.1

Florida

Homestead Air Reserve Base

Air Force

39.8

142

10.1

130

49.4

181.8

Hurlburt Field

Air Force

30.8

105

362

18.5

22.8

135.8

Avon Park

Air Force

13.8

40.3

ND

ND

ND

51

Illinois

Scott AFB

Air Force

ND

39.3

ND

9.4

ND

39.3

Kansas

McConnell AFB

Air Force

28.1

27.5

24.7

151

45.8

53.8

Maine

Detachment Cutler

Navy

884

604

369

1760

483

1401

Loring AFB

Air Force

13.5

168

6.8

72.5

18.6

180.4

Brunswick NAS

Navy

ND

10.6

ND

6.9

ND

10.6

Massachusetts

Otis ANG

Air Force

8.5

9.2

ND

ND

N/A

9.2

New Hampshire

Pease AFB

Air Force

112

488

59

370

172

530.5

New Jersey

Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst

Air Force

44

1400

44

540

64

1444

New Mexico

Cannon AFB

Air Force

ND

ND

ND

ND

196

0

New York

Plattsburgh AFB

Air Force

40.1

211

21

57

6.9

251.1

North Carolina

Seymore Johnson AFB

Air Force

9.7

25.2

ND

ND

ND

25.4

Oklahoma

Tinker AFB

Air Force

50.9

29.4

23.3

409

33

72.5

Oregon

Klamath Falls

Air Force

ND

ND

ND

ND

ND

0

Pennsylvania

Biddle ANGB

Air Force

13.7

26

12

6.2

ND

39

South Carolina

Shaw AFB

Air Force

18

48

29

50

21

63

South Dakota

Ellsworth AFB

Air Force

234

1710

274

1320

595

1855

Tennessee

Arnold AFB

Air Force

44.7

15.5

ND

ND

31.5

60.2

Texas

Joint Base San Antonio

Air Force

911

2420

237

3130

697

3182

Reese AFB

Air Force

3130

951

132

1180

1260

3130

Goodfellow AFB

Air Force

92.6

1620

213

918

343

1712.6

Sheppard AFB

Air Force

25

12.7

40.8

354

19.9

37.7

Dyess AFB

Air Force

ND

ND

12.8

9.8

ND

0

Washington

Fairchild AFB

Air Force

29.1

52.8

29.2

115

99.1

81.5

Wisconsin

West Bend AASF #1/Armory

Army

ND

ND

ND

ND

ND

0

*Parts per trillion, or ppt

Related data released a month ago by the DOD found high levels of PFOA, PFOS, PFHxS and other PFAS in the areas near military bases in Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Washington. The DOD is required by Congress to publish the results of tests for PFAS in off-base drinking water as they come in and is continuing to add results for more bases across the country.

“No one should be drinking water with levels of PFAS this high,” said EWG Policy Analyst Jared Hayes.

DOD installations were previously required to provide water filters or connect nearby residents with public water supplies if PFAS levels exceeded 70 parts per trillion, or ppt, a health advisory level set by the Environmental Protection Agency. But this month, the EPA revised the advisory levels for PFOA and PFOS to levels well below 1 ppt.

PFAS have been confirmed in the groundwater of nearly 400 military installations and are suspected to be present at hundreds of other installations. The DOD has been slow to clean up PFAS pollution, which is caused mostly by the use of firefighting foam made with the chemicals. The Pentagon has not yet said whether it will comply with the EPA’s new drinking water health advisory levels.

PFAS are a large family of fluorinated chemicals, some of which have been linked to cancer, reproductive harmimmune system damage and other serious health problems. PFAS contaminate the drinking water of an estimated 200-plus million people.

Tell Congress: Stop the PFAS Contamination Crisis

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The Environmental Working Group is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that empowers people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. Through research, advocacy and unique education tools, EWG drives consumer choice and civic action.

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