Study: Cape Watersheds Held Undetected PFAS Compounds

BOSTON – A new study has shown that six Cape Cod watersheds had large compounds of per- and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals that were previously undetectable.

Using a new investigation method, researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences found that the Childs, Quashnet, Mill Creek, Marstons Mills, Mashpee, and Santuit watersheds held higher levels of these chemicals than what was thought before.

The samples were collected between August of 2017 and July of 2019.

PFAS chemicals, which can lead to health issues such as cancer and diabetes, are used in many substances and materials.

The Harvard research team focused on finding PFAS chemicals utilized in fire-retardant foams, which have been known to contaminate water sources across the nation.

Some of the samples with these chemicals in them were located downstream from locations such as Joint Base Cape Cod and the Barnstable County Fire Training Academy, which the research team stated are both probable sources of fire-retardant foams.

The entire research report will be featured in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

About Brendan Fitzpatrick

Brendan, a recent graduate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is one of the newest members of the NewsCenter team. When not on the beat, you'll probably find him watching Boston sports.
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