University of Florida has results from Indian River Lagoon PFAS tests

Grad student Emily Griffin holds up a sample of the seagrass taken from the lagoon, in the background is John Bowden, a University of Florida researcher. On Wednesday, Jan. 19, Bowden, assistant professor at UF and Griffin, spent the day on the Indian River Lagoon collecting seagrass samples from different locations to check for PFAS.

The University of Florida plans to announce early results on Thursday from soil and water sampling along the Indian River Lagoon that was looking for a group of chemical compounds linked to cancer and other illnesses. 

The project update, which will happen online from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 17, is part of a three-year pilot study of the so-called PFAS compounds in Brevard County, conducted under an almost $800,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 

The study explores which types of PFAS — short for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances — are circulating in the soil, water and vegetation along the Space Coast.

PFAS is a family of thousands of synthetic fluorinated chemicals, many widely used for their ability to repel oil, water and stains. They most commonly come in the form of spray foams used to suppress high-heat fuel fires at airports and military bases. But toxic chemicals from those foams also can flow underground from industrial fields into surrounding groundwater and drinking wells. 






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