Concerns about chemicals in water and soil are part of what fuels the organic movement. So it came as a shock to residents of Westminster, Mass., that the likely cause of PFAS contamination in their town — affecting about 200 properties — is organic compost.
PFAS chemicals are known as "forever chemicals" because they don't really decompose and removing them is complicated. Yet, they're present in everything from flame retardants to non-stick cookware to athletic clothing.
In Westminster, many properties have been tested to show levels 50 times more than the state's recommended levels. However, the Environmental Protection Agency recently issued a new warning that no level in water is safe.
Here & Now's Robin Young talks to Staci Rubin from the Conservation Law Foundation and to Westminster resident Anne Lutz.
This segment aired on August 8, 2022.