Federal study finds nearly half of US tap water contains PFAS

It’s a groundbreaking study into the presence of PFAS in tap water and private wells.

“We actually focused on your glass that you drink, coming from your kitchen faucet, which is unique,” says Kelly Smalling, a research hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. “This is the first study to really give private users information on PFAS at their tap and then compare that information to those on public supply.”

The USGS study found at least 45% of the nation’s tap water contains what are often called forever chemicals.

A map released by the agency shows circles representing the presence of one or more PFAS; parts of Minnesota are among the areas affected the most.

Smalling notes there are more than 12,000 types of PFAS.

She says researchers tested for the presence of 32, including in the metro.  

“Minneapolis is an urban area. It also has PFAS manufacturing in the area,” Smalling explains. “We know that people in urban areas and places near known or suspected PFAS sources tend to have higher concentrations and more PFAS detected in their taps.”

PFAS coverage