Public water supplies around the country are increasing efforts to test for chemicals linked to cancer and other diseases after studies revealed millions of Americans may now be exposed to the toxins.
In Brevard County, Fla., groundwater testing this year near Patrick Air Force Base show high levels of perfluorooctane sulfonate and perfluorooctanoic acid, two water-resistant chemicals that used to be found in firefighting foam, as well as a variety of household products, ranging from no-stick frying pans to carpet-cleaning agents, and even the film inside microwave popcorn bags. And according to reports, several young women have been diagnosed with different types of cancer in the immediate area within just a few years of each other.
The chemicals have been phased out since 2015 by major chemical companies like Dupont and 3M at the suggestion of the Environmental Protection Agency. But they were in common use since the 1950s and have since been found in water supplies across the country.