Three Wisconsin agencies partner to study PFASSubmitted: 10/22/2019
Story By Zackery White

Three Wisconsin agencies partner to study PFAS
RHINELANDER - Three Wisconsin agencies will team up to figure out how Perfluorooctanoic acid or, PFAS compounds move and change.

The Department of Natural Resources, State Lab of Hygiene, and UW-Madison plan to start the study this fall.

PFAS compounds, which can have negative health impacts, have been found in drinking water systems across the state, including Rhinelander.

Erin Mani, an organic chemist at the State Lab of Hygiene says one purpose of this study is to figure out where PFAS come from.

"This study I believe purpose is to figure out where this is coming its not to penalize the wastewater treatment plants in any way", said Mani. "If we find plants where the PFAS is high we start looking up stream to whats coming into these plants."

There are nearly 5,000 types of PFAS, Mani says that's part of the problem.

"There such a wide variety of these compounds there are some that very long chained and some that are very short chained, some of the longer chained ones can break down into the shorter chains, but they are forever chemicals that is the term that is being thrown around for them so once they get to a certain point they cannot break down any further," said Mani

This initial phase of this study will be followed by a second phase.

The second phase will focus on how PFAS interact with solids in wastewater.

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