As public alarm over PFAS “forever chemicals” grows, Verisk’s Emerging Issues team has completed initial research to highlight which states currently have PFAS data for water samples available through their state environmental websites.
During our research, we found that there was no overarching assessment of water-related PFAS data throughout the United States at the federal level. Currently, many states are working on discovering what kinds of PFAS contaminants might be found within their borders. Some states have compiled comprehensive datasets and provided geospatial locations of wells where water samples were taken. Others have a few county samples completed, and others have yet to even begin the sampling process. For example, as of the date of this post, the states of Texas and Kansas have yet to upload sampling data. Meanwhile, Michigan has a well-documented data set available for download.
It should be noted that most of the sampling that has occurred has only been done on PFOS and PFOA contaminants, and not reportedly on other PFAS substances, of which there are estimated to be nearly 9,000.1
PFOA and PFOS are the most extensively studied chemicals of all the PFAS.2 According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), these chemicals "have been used to make carpets, clothing, fabrics for furniture, paper packaging for food and other materials (e.g., [non-stick] cookware) that are resistant to water, grease or stains."
PFOS have been voluntarily phased out of production except for several excluded uses, and eight major companies have phased out PFOA in 2006. (Read about the EPA's stewardship program to reduce PFOA levels at facilities and in products here.)
The Emerging Issues team has created a map of availability of water samples by state below.
PFAS Data Availability for Water Samples in Some States
- Illinois EPA’s PFAS Sampling Network
- PFAS Statewide Investigation Network: Community Water Supply Sampling
- Wolf Administration Announces Final PFAS Statewide Sampling Results
- PFAS Sampling Final Results - May 2021