Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are human-made chemicals that do not occur naturally in the environment. Known as the “forever chemicals”, they break down very slowly in the environment, persist in our bodies, and have been associated with health risks. They can be found in air, soil, and water (ground and surface water) after release from the manufacture, use, and disposal of products that contain these chemicals. 

We want to learn the levels of PFAS present in the streams, and what mechanisms may be bringing them into the bay.  Higher priority in stream selection will go to streams with any industrial history, relatively more intense housing, and known sources of pollution. The chart below indicates how, where, when and by whom PFAS will be measured. The Shaw Institute of Blue Hill, Me, will facilitate the laboratory analysis of our samples for PFAS at their cost ($100/ sample), and have provided advice on the sample collection scheme (timing, locations, frequency). 

Note: We also explored testing for microplastics with the Shaw Center, but our conclusion was that microplastics are everywhere, and many others are testing for microplastics, notably in Frenchman Bay, the majority water source for Taunton Bay.

Learn More About PFAS:

Maine to receive nearly $19 Million to address PFAS chemicals in drinking water – The PFAS Project Lab

The Forever Pollution Project – Journalists tracking PFAS across Europe

The PFAS Project Lab – Studying Social, Scientific, and Political Factors of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances