Increased amount of PFAS in water samples in Great Lakes region

June 16, 2021

Chemicals used in ordinary products can have negative downstream effects on the environment. A recent article in The Windsor Star highlights the increased prevalence of toxic per and polyfluoralalkl substances (PFAS) in the Great Lakes region.

 

great lakes aerial

Researchers in the study conducted on the U.S. side of Lake Erie found evidence of  increased levels PFAS in rain samples. PFAS commonly appear in many man-made products from children’s toys to fast food wrappers, with these products producing chemical runoff that seeps into groundwater before eventually ending as rain in the water cycle.  Tim Gray, working with the Canadian organization Environmental Defense, claims weather processes blur sovereign borders and space, with what happens in the Midwest, for example, having the potential to affect regions like southern Ontario and Quebec. This is again another example of “spooky environmental actions at a distance” (see McCann, 2021 Ecology Letters). 

To read the article in The Windsor Star, as well as the article it is based on from The Plain Dealer (Cleveland), please check out the below links: 

  

Toxic 'forever chemicals' are raining down on Essex County | Windsor Star (Windsor Star article) 

It’s literally raining PFAS around the Great Lakes, say researchers - cleveland.com (Plain Dealer article)