Researchers from Drexel University have found a way to destroy stubbornly resilient toxic compounds, ominously dubbed “forever chemicals,” that have contaminated the drinking water of millions across the United States.
These chemicals, commonly called PFAS — a shortening of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, were used for some 60 years as coatings for nonstick pans and waterproof clothing and in fire-fighting foams. In the last two decades concerns about health risks associated with exposure to PFAS — from cancer and thyroid problems to low birthweights and high blood pressure — have led to federal bans, monitoring mandates and massive remediation efforts.