"PITTSBURGH—Toxic “forever chemicals”, also known as PFAS, have been used in at least eight oil and gas wells in Pennsylvania, but the exact location of those wells has never been publicly disclosed — until now.
Experts say it’s possible that communities where PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) have been used by the oil and gas industry could face contamination of soil, groundwater and drinking water — and that contamination could be widespread.
The chemicals don’t break down naturally, so they linger in the environment and human bodies. Exposure is linked to health problems including kidney and testicular cancer, liver and thyroid problems, reproductive problems, lowered vaccine efficacy in children and increased risk of birth defects, among others.
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Last year, a report by the environmental health advocacy group Physicians for Social Responsibility revealed that PFAS have been used in hydraulic fracturing and other types of oil and gas extraction across the U.S. for at least a decade, and an EHN investigation published in August documented PFAS contamination in one Pennsylvania fracking community resident’s drinking water."
Kristina Marusic reports for Environmental Health News October 13, 2022.