A new study released Thursday by Northeastern University and the Environmental Working Group shows harmful types of PFCs, known as PFASs, can be found in drinking water across 27 states, including in the Cleveland Heights system.
PFCs are commonly found in water-resistant products, such as nonstick frying pans and stain and water-resistant clothing. They can even be found in the coating of some fast food wrappers, according to the EWG.
According to the study, highly flourinated toxic chemicals can be found in the water of 15 million Americans.
An interactive map published by the EWG shows that Cleveland Heights' water supply showed EPA detection of PFOS contaminants, but no other contaminant detection. The area is not considered a contamination site, according to the map, which combines data from the Environmental Protection Agency and documented cases of PFC contamination within manufacturing plants, military air bases, civilian airports and firefighter training sites.
Tests found one in three PFOS samples showed an average of 133 parts per trillion, a maximum of 400 parts per trillion and minimum of zero parts per trillion.
"Of the 47 locations where the source of contamination is known or suspected, 21 are military bases, 20 are industrial facilities and seven are civilian firefighting sites. Some locations have multiple sources of contamination," the EWG says.
Click here to view the full interactive map.
PFC pollution has been linked to cancer, thyroid disease, immune issues and other health problems, according to the EWG.
Dupont, the creator of Teflon used in nonstick cooking products, recently settled more than 3,500 lawsuits on a $671 million payout to southern Ohio and West Virginia residents whose water was polluted by cancer-causing chemicals used to create Teflon, the EWG says.
In 2000, companies agreed to phase out the use of PFOA chemicals in products. According to the EWG, even the smallest traces of PFOA can be considered harmful, leading to cancer, birth defects and illness.