It’s literally raining PFAS around the Great Lakes, say researchers
By Garret Ellison | MLive | June 8, 2021
Read the full article by Garret Ellison (MLive)
"Rain that fell on Ohio this spring contained a surprisingly high amount of toxic “forever chemicals” known as PFAS, according to raw data from a binational Great Lakes monitoring program that tracks airborne pollution.
Rainwater collected in Cleveland over two weeks in April contained a combined concentration of about 1,000 parts-per-trillion (ppt) of PFAS compounds. That’s according to scientists at the Integrated Atmospheric Deposition Network (IADN), a long-term Great Lakes monitoring program jointly funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Canada.
The samples are part of a new IADN effort to analyze the prevalence of PFAS in precipitation across the Great Lakes. The network has other monitoring stations in Illinois, Michigan and New York and the chemicals were detected there, too.
The preliminary data is unpublished and undergoing quality reviews, but researchers say early analysis shows PFAS chemicals to be major contaminant in regional rain and snow.
“You can actually say it’s raining PFAS at this point,” said Marta Venier, an environmental chemist Indiana University, speaking to reporters convened online by the Institute for Journalism and Natural Resources (IJNR) in May.
Since August 2020, IADN has been analyzing PFAS in rainwater samples from five sites around the region where the IADN has, since 1990, been testing for persistent organic pollutants like PCBs, organochlorine pesticides and flame retardants."