Tests reveal elevated PFAS levels in Madison lakes

Tests reveal elevated PFAS levels in Madison lakes
January 26, 2021 The Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Tests have revealed elevated levels of man-made chemicals known as PFAS in Madison-area lakes, state environmental officials said Thursday.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources collected samples last year from lakes Mendota, Monona, Upper Mud, Waubesa and Kegonsa, as well as along sections of the Yahara River between the lakes. Tests show PFAS levels in those water bodies that are higher than Lake Mendota upstream, the DNR said.

The department is working on establishing health standards for the chemicals. Even without them the study still provides a picture of the extent of contamination in the lake system, DNR Environmental Management Division Administrator Darsi Foss said.

Testing in 2019 showed PFAS in Starkweather Creek, which empties into Lake Monona. The Dane County Regional Airport’s storm water system empties into Starkweather Creek. PFAS are found in fire-fighting foam used to extinguish blazes sparked by aircraft crashes.

The department next plans to sample fish from the lake system to decide whether to issue a consumption advisory, Foss said.

Catch up with PFAS news on Great Lakes Now:

Wisconsin releases action plan to reduce PFAS chemical use

PFAS chemicals are ubiquitous. A Pitt scientist is working to protect you from thousands of types at once.

PFAS News Roundup: PFAS in Lake Superior smelt, McDonalds drops PFAS packaging, White House weakened EPA guidelines

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PFAS Around the Great Lakes Region: Actions taken in each state or province and standards set, if any

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Featured image: In this June 6, 2018, file photo, PFAS foam washes up on the shoreline of Van Etten Lake in Oscoda Township, Mich., near Wurtsmith Air Force Base. (Jake May/The Flint Journal via AP, File)


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