High concentrations of dangerous ‘forever chemicals’ found in Midwestern rivers, report shows

Read the full story from the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting.

The Missouri Confluence Waterkeeper wasn’t surprised to find dangerous PFAS chemicals in Coldwater Creek in north St. Louis County, but the group was surprised to see how much there was.

“Out of all of the waterkeepers in the broader Midwest, we had the highest concentration of total PFAS,” said Charles Miller, the policy manager at Missouri Confluence Waterkeeper. “We had one of the higher concentrations in the country.”

Waterkeeper Alliance asked waterkeepers across the United States to test for PFAS chemicals. PFAS is the shortened term for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, also known as “forever chemicals” because their components break down very slowly over time. Many are now present in people, animals and food and are linked to certain cancers, lower immune response and reproductive effects. The report [Invisible, Unbreakable, Unnatural: PFAS Contamination in U.S. Surface Waters] found that 83% of the waters tested had at least one of these chemicals.

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