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PFAS’s are a class of man-made chemicals considered to be contaminants of emerging concern with many municipal water systems.

State Senator Julian Cyr (D-Truro) filed legislation in Boston on Tuesday aiming to establish a task force to address the increasing detection of PFAS contamination in Massachusetts, including several sites on Cape Cod. According to an article published on the Cape Cod Times, Cyr stated “We hope to move quickly on this, because it’s a pressing matter. When we have emerging contaminants like PFAS, the more we learn, the more there’s concern. The goal is to convene experts to provide a mechanism to address the issue.”

Polyfluoroalkyl substances or PFAS’s, are a class of man-made chemicals considered to be contaminants of emerging concern with many municipal water systems. They are commonly found in firefighting foams, stain- and water-resistant products, coatings, outdoor clothing, carpets and many other household items. PFAS have been linked to health problems that include thyroid disorders, developmental effects to fetuses during pregnancy, liver damage and testicular and kidney cancer.

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection has identified 14 public water supplies where PFAS has been detected in the state, four of them located in Cyr’s Cape & Islands District. They include the Hyannis Water System, Mashpee Water District and two other public water supplies in Mashpee at the Lakeside Estates mobile home park and Sea Mist Resort.

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