Activist group identifies nearly 30,000 “suspected” industrial PFAS dischargers


Based on their new analysis of government data, the activist Environmental Working Group (EWG) projects that nearly 30,000 industrial sites may be using, making or releasing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) — a number much larger than previously identified estimates.

In releasing an updated map of PFAS manufacturers and users, EWG said that the industrial sites are not known dischargers of the substances, but they are known or suspected to make, use or release the chemicals. EWG has long tracked PFAS issues, identifying areas where the persistent class of chemicals has impacted water supplies, and advocating for regulatory action.

The EWG analysis broke down the sites by industry sector, which appear to be more heavily concentrated in the eastern half of the country. According to this breakdown, EWG says that of the sites on its list, more than 4,700 use PFAS for electroplating and polishing; more than 3,000 are petroleum stations and terminals; more than 2,300 are chemical manufacturers; over 2,200 are metal product manufacturers; more than 2,100 are commercial printing facilities; over 1,800 are plastics and resin manufacturing sites; greater than 1,500 are paint and coating manufacturers; over 1,200 are semiconductor manufacturers; and more than 1,000 are electric component manufacturers. EWG also stated that after adding landfills and sewage treatment plants, the estimated number of sites that could be discharging PFAS is more than 41,000.

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~sProducts Finishing, 19 August 2021