Campaign launched in effort to test all public water systems for PFAS

Published: May. 4, 2021 at 8:43 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) - A new statewide campaign has launched calling for testing of PFAS in water supplies.

“PFAS Free Wisconsin” is led by Midwest Environmental Advocates, as well as other environmental groups, public health professionals and community leaders.

Together, they are calling for immediate, statewide testing of all public water systems in Wisconsin to determine the presence of PFAS chemicals in drinking water.

Doctors and other health officials say exposure to PFAS at even extremely low levels has been linked to serious health problems.

PFAS, short for perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are chemicals that are well-known for contaminating drinking water and associated with a number of health risks.

“It interferes with the body’s natural hormones, it can increase cholesterol levels, it effects the immune system, in fact some studies have shown a decreased immune response to vaccines as a result of PFAS. It can increase some specific cancers,” said Dr. Beth Neary, Co-President of Wisconsin Environmental Health Network.

Currently, there is no statewide requirement to test municipal drinking water supplies in Wisconsin.

“Every resident, especially our vulnerable children, our pregnant mothers, our elderly, our immune compromised. Every resident is entitled to safe drinking water free from toxic substances,” said Lee Donahue, Town Supervisor for the Town of Campbell.

As previously reported, state lawmakers reintroduced the CLEAR Act to address PFAS contamination just last month. The legislation was introduced during the 2019-2021 biennium, but the bill wasn’t given a public hearing. CLICK HERE to read the legislation’s full text.

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As previously reported, Wisconsin health officials put together groundwater quality standards for a dozen man-made chemicals known as PFAS just last year. CLICK HERE for the full list.

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