Skip to content
Apply
Stories

Northeastern research identifies inequities in exposure to PFAS in New Jersey drinking water.

People in this story

Polluted brown running water falling into a white sink from tap
image of dirty brown water coming out of silver, slightly rusted faucet

PFAS, or forever chemicals, are widespread and more likely to be found in public water systems serving low-income communities and communities of color in New Jersey, according to new research from Northeastern University. “This really comes out of a long tradition of environmental justice research that talks about the overburdened nature for people of color and of low income,” says Phil Brown, university distinguished professor of sociology and health sciences and the director of the Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute at Northeastern. 

The findings were published Wednesday in the latest issue of Environmental Health Perspectives. PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are a group of 14,000 persistent, toxic chemicals that are used in countless consumer and industrial products — everything from your waterproof hiking gear to the container for your fast-food burger. They are often called “forever chemicals” because they are extremely persistent and can build up in organisms — including humans — over time.

New Jersey was the first state to regulate certain PFAS in drinking water, with statewide sampling beginning in 2019 on all public water systems. “This was great data because you could see the entire state, all the public drinking water systems, no matter what the size,” Brown says.

Read more at Northeastern Global News.

More Stories

image of Traders walking the floor during morning trading at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in front of screen with stocks on May 14, 2024 in New York City.

Roaring Kitty and Warren Buffett — market or stock influencers?

05.20.2024
image of aerial view showing demolition crews working to finish removing the Fairfield Avenue bridge over Interstate 95, Saturday, May 4, 2024 in Norwalk, Conn. Crews are expected to finish removing the bridge by Sunday morning, and road repairs will be made. The tanker truck burst into flames under the overpass after colliding with two other vehicles Thursday. The cause remains under investigation.

One-third of bridges in the United States need fixing. Here’s how to do that without wreaking havoc on supplychains and commuters

05.16.2024
image of Northeastern professor Ozlem Ergun, COE distinguished professor and associate chair for graduate affairs, mechanical and industrial engineering speaking during The Algorithmic Workplace event held in the John D. O’Bryant African American Institute on May 16, 2024.

Is gig work compatible with employment status? Study finds reclassification benefits both workers and platforms

05.20.24
All Stories