Crisis of Contamination: Toxic PFAS in our Great Lakes

Crisis of Contamination: Toxic PFAS in our Great Lakes
, By Clean Wisconsin

Six years ago, families in Marinette and Peshtigo got the news that would change everything, for them, and eventually the whole state. Toxic PFAS from firefighting foam produced for years at nearby Tyco Fire Products had infiltrated groundwater, creeks, streams and drinking water wells across the area. Now University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers say they’ve linked contamination in Lake Michigan’s Green Bay to Tyco.

But it’s an issue that goes far beyond Green Bay. PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, have been found in water bodies and drinking water sources across the state, including Eau Claire, La Crosse, Madison, Rhinelander, Marshfield, Manitowoc and Wausau, often near airports and airbases where training with firefighting foam has gone on for decades. While two types of PFAS chemicals called PFOA and PFOS have been phased out in the U.S. and will soon be regulated in drinking water by the EPA, there are thousands more, many of which are still widely used in all kinds of consumer products.

Hear what needs to happen next to get a handle on growing PFAS contamination across Wisconsin and the world.

Host: Amy Barrilleaux


Dr. Christy Remucal, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at UW-Madison.

Dr. Paul Mathewson, Science Program Director, Clean Wisconsin

Background Reading:

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