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Assessing Potential Drinking Water Contamination Due to PFAS Use at Airports

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced it was supporting environmental agencies in Kansas and Nebraska with technical and/or financial assistance to help the states assess the extent of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination at various sites. These sites include airports, since PFAS have been used in fast-acting firefighting products, including fire-fighting foams found at military and civilian airports.

The EPA reports that airports and military installations that use firefighting foams are one of the main sources of PFAS getting into the environment. Water contamination near these sites is a serious issue as the agency goes on to state that drinking water can be a source of exposure in communities where these chemicals have contaminated water supplies. Contamination is typically localized and associated with a specific facility, such as an airfield.

PFAS are man-made chemicals that have come under increased scrutiny in recent years because many chemicals in this group do not readily break down in the environment and can build up in animals, including humans. There is evidence according to the EPA that exposure to some of these chemicals may cause a variety of health concerns.

“Fortunately, there are tests available to determine if certain PFAS chemicals are present in drinking water or other potable water sources,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “At EMSL, we are pleased to offer this type of water testing for these chemicals from samples, from over half the states in the country, including Kansas and Nebraska.”

EMSL has also sponsored an educational video about PFAS and potential exposure risks that can be seen at:

To learn more about this or to request a PFAS sampling kit for states where EMSL is accepting samples from, please visit, call (800) 220-3675 or email

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories with 46 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA-LAP, LLC (AIHA-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.

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