Category: PFAS Project

Maine faces widespread contamination due to PFAS, synthetic chemicals in ubiquitous consumer and manufacturing use that are now polluting wells, public water supplies, farmland and food chains. This series explores the pathways by which PFAS cycle through Maine’s environment and the far-reaching repercussions these enduring chemicals will have.

This project was produced with support from the Doris O’Donnell Innovations in Investigative Journalism Fellowship, awarded by the Center for Media Innovation at Point Park University in Pittsburgh.

watershed drawing
home diagram

Forever Exposure, Forever Anxiety

Found in water, air, soil, food, consumer products and work settings, ‘forever chemicals’ pose risks to both physical health and mental well-being At the end of Joy Road in Fairfield, a steep dead-end road...

baby in jacket on the beach

Reducing Your PFAS Body Burden

Limiting new sources of exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) can gradually lower your accumulated chemical load, aptly known as your body burden. PFAS compounds can linger in bodies for decades, with concentrations...

sludge dumping

A Spreading Problem

How PFAS got into soils and food systems Risks from ‘forever chemicals’ have ended a half-century of spreading sludge onto Maine farmland and raised unanswered questions about contamination of foods. “Other states in general...

takeout food containers

PFAS to Go

Many takeout containers risk contaminating foods Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) can find their way into foods through sludge or compost that contaminates soils, waters and crops, or they can migrate directly from packaging...

monitoring wells

PFAS Plume

‘Forever chemicals’ can show up in aquifers long after their historic use, prompting the need for costly drinking water monitoring and treatment. A recent U.S. Navy report finds that per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)...

taking water sample

Testing the Waters

Tracing the movement of PFAS into waterways and wildlife Martha Spiess, a retired veterinarian, began testing waters in Brunswick for PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) after hearing news of ‘forever chemicals’ contaminating Maine farms....