Forever chemicals are disproportionately polluting Black and Hispanic neighborhoods

Photo by DAVID PINTENS/BELGA/AFP via Getty Images

Toxic chemicals linked to cancer and heart disease are disproportionately polluting water sources in Black and Hispanic neighborhoods in the US, a new study shows, providing new evidence of environmental impacts targeting communities of color.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), also known as “forever chemicals” for their extreme persistence in the environment, are toxic byproducts of heat-resistant materials. They’re widely used in aerospace, construction, automotive, and electronics industries. Because of their resistance, they can also penetrate the soil and contaminate water sources near factories as well as accumulate in wildlife.

A new Harvard study monitored more than 7,000 sites across 18 states and found statistical…

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