what are pfas?
WHAT ARE THEY
PFAS is short for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances. They are a chemical compound first developed in the 1950s for
PFAS can be found in cooking equipment, industrial waste, carpets and carpet cleaner,
microwave popcorn bags, water, food, and
fire fighting products.
The most commonly studied PFAS are perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS).
The next most commonly studied are perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), and perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA).
HOW THEY ARE TOXIc
Research from the Center for Disease Control has found that during production and use, PFAS migrate into the soil, water, and air.
Most PFAS (including PFOA and PFOS) do not breakdown, so they remain in the environment forever. PFAS are exceedingly persistent in the environment and bioaccumulate in both wildlife and humans, which according to US EPA, have a half-life greater than 41 years for PFOS and greater than 92 years for PFOA.
Because of their widespread use and their persistence in the environment, PFAS are found in the blood of people and animals all over the world and are present at low levels in a variety of food products and in the environment. Some PFAS can build up in people and animals with repeated exposure over time.
HOW ARE THEY USED in our area
Today, PFAS are used by US Air Force bases around the world as a fire fighting foam.
The Cannon Air Force Base has used PFAS fire fighting foam since the 1970S. After use, runoff is drained into the ground, sinking into the local water supply.
While effective as a firefighting tool, PFAS cause unprecedented trauma to the environment they are introduced to after use.
How does this affect you?
Clovis, NM and the surrounding area has been directly affected by Cannon Air Force Base's continued use of PFAS, as runoff from fire fighting efforts has reached the regions water supply.
Among current local groups affected by the regions water contamination are agricultural farms, dairy farms, and many others.