Friday, 14 June 2024 10:34

Clean Water Update: The Fight Against Forever Chemicals In Akron

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What if you found out there are chemicals so toxic and dangerous that even just 10 barrels full of them could pollute all of Lake Erie?

Well, it turns out; there are, and they're in our environment, pretty much everywhere–from your Teflon coated frying pan, to the grease-resistant pizza box sitting on your kitchen counter. Oh, and speaking of kitchen counters; you know that stuff you use to seal the granite  every year or so? Yeah, they're in that too.

But, the type of chemicals that are used to make those things, along with other ubiquitous and useful products like bandages, Scotchgard, and fire fighting foam; are exactly the type of chemicals known as PFAS (per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances)  that are now regulated under new federal EPA guidelines that apply to public water supplies.

They're known as "forever chemicals", because they do not break down in nature. Once they're out there; they're out there, and once they're our bodies, they can cause all kinds of very serious illness, such as kidney and testicular cancer, liver damage, thyroid disease, decreased fertility, and more.

In addition, the company that originally discovered them–3M–not only knew they were potentially deadly decades ago; they also purposely covered it up. As a result, they agreed to pay a $10.3 billion dollar settlement to water utilities nationwide.

Here in Ohio; the State recently settled a lawsuit for $110 million dollars against three companies–Chemours, Dupont De Nemours, and Corteva– that dispersed these chemicals into the air and water from their Washington Works facility along the Ohio-West Virginia border.

So, today, we're both following up on a story we did late last year on what the City of Akron is doing to protect our drinking water supply from these dangerous chemicals, and learning about a new type of PFAS filter for tap water that consumers could use at home.

Listen now, to our conversation with City of Akron City of Akron Utilities Technical Services Manager, Scott Moegling, and University of Akron Polymer Science Professor, Dr. Sadhan C. Jana.

Read 1161 times Last modified on Friday, 14 June 2024 19:19