“Scientists have detailed more than 200 uses of PFAS chemicals in 64 industrial areas, including mining, book conservation, plastics production, photography, printing, watchmaking, car manufacturing, air conditioning, fingerprinting, and particle physics. Many of the uses, which are laid out in an article published in the journal Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts, were previously unknown. The author tried to obtain the amounts of various PFAS manufactured and imported in the U.S. but was told that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would not make that available because companies had claimed it as confidential business information, or CBI.
Kyla Bennett encountered a similar problem when she tried to get information on whether PFAS were used in pesticides. The question occurred to her because she lives in a town where the chemicals have been detected in drinking water. “I just couldn’t understand why so many towns, including my own in southeastern Massachusetts, had contaminated water,” said Bennett, who is science policy director for Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. “We aren’t near an airport, a military base, or a fire-training facility. Yet we had PFAS in our drinking water wells.””