PFAs found in marinas and dry stack storages

BEAUFORT, N.C. (WITN) – It might be a picturesque sight with the boats docked along the water, but environmentalists say such scenes can contribute to PFAs, also known as forever chemicals, in the water.

PFAs do not break down and can accumulate in the environment or the human body.

Dr. Lee Ferguson recently stumbled upon PFAs in fire-fighting foams in marinas and dry stack storages.

“It doesn’t need much firefighting foam to lead to measurable contamination. One of the concerns I have is the large quantities of their use on fire suppression systems. This would constitute a significant amount of PFAs if they were released,” Dr. Lee Ferguson explained.

According to Dr. Ferguson, although not much study has been done on the PFAs’ impact on marine life and the ecosystem, due to their persistence in the environment and toxic effects from past studies, it is something that should be on our radar.

Riley Lewis, the White Oak Waterkeeper says Coastal Carolina Riverwatch is starting a study on PFAs and heavy metals in oysters that could lead to a better understanding of its impacts.

“What sort of human contamination can happen and also potential sources of where, if we are finding PFAs, where it is coming from,” Lewis said.

According to Lewis, the next step is to work on outreach to inform more people about PFAs and the alternatives to safely remove them from the water.