URI Seeking Volunteers For Drinking Water Testing

May 9, 2018

A research team that includes professors from the University of Rhode Island is looking for volunteers on Cape Cod to have their drinking water tested. The team will be looking for man-made chemicals called PFAS in private wells.

PFAS have been used in the U.S. to make products like non-stick pans and fire-fighting foam since the 1940s. They’ve also contaminated drinking water systems across the country, including New Hampshire and Vermont.

The Environmental Protection Agency said studies have found PFAS can increase cholesterol levels and can accumulate in the bloodstream for long periods of time.

Last year, the University of Rhode Island received an $8 million federal grant to test for PFAS in private wells around a military training site called Joint Base Cape Cod where fire-fighting foam was used. 

With the grant, they've developed a research center named "Sources, Transport, Exposure and Effects of PFASs," or STEEP, and have launched a website to post their findings. 

Researchers plan to conduct the testing later this year.