Here’s an updated map of military sites where DoD found cancer-causing chemicals in the drinking water

Firefighters use PFAS-containing firefighting foam to put out a burning aircraft during live fire training at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. Image Credit: Airman 1st Class Lauren Hunter, Air Force

Fifty-eight more military sites where PFAS has been found in groundwater and other drinking water resources have been added to an interactive map showing each contaminated location in the United States. The map was developed by the Environmental Working Group and Northeastern University.

The map includes data regarding both drinking water and groundwater contamination at each of the sites listed. By clicking on the map, viewers can read about details of key findings for each location, including the type of PFAS and range in parts per trillion (ppt) found there. Some places reported significantly high levels of PFAS that reached over 100,000 ppt.

The Environmental Protection Agency issued a health advisory in 2016 recommending that water sources contain no more than 70 ppt of either perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), or perfluorooctane sulfonated (PFOS), the two most well-known types of PFAS chemicals currently in use. However, because the recommendation is only an advisory and not a requirement, no municipality has been required to meet this standard.

A major factor in the contamination of military sites across the U.S. has been the use of firefighting foams that contain PFAS chemicals. The Department of Defense has prioritized many of the map locations for cleanup and is no longer using firefighting foam containing PFAS for any maintenance, testing or training. It is only used in specific fire emergencies where its use is controlled so that it does not get into the environment any further than it already has.

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