Update: New study finds PFAS in rainwater

Clean water

Unsafe levels of toxic chemicals are present in rainwater throughout the globe, according to a new study published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology. The study confirmed that per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are so widespread in the environment that they now make their way into the Earth’s atmosphere usually as a result of sea spray aerosols. It’s from there that PFAS make their way into global rainwater systems, which has resulted in PFAS-contaminated soil across the world, often at levels in excess of recommended health guidelines. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently announced new health advisories for two types of PFAS, PFOA and PFOS, which were both identified in the rainwater samples taken during the study, usually at levels exceeding health advisories. As a solution to this serious public health threat, the study recommends what we’ve been advocating for for years: clean up the PFAS that’s already in the environment and turn off the tap on all PFAS as soon as possible.

Sean Hoffmann

Federal Legislative Advocate

Matt Casale

Former Director, Environment Campaigns, PIRG


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