PFAS in our water
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of highly toxic human-made chemicals resistant to heat, water, and oil. For decades, PFAS have been used for industrial applications, firefighting foam, and consumer products such as carpeting, waterproof clothing, upholstery, food packaging, and various paper products. Often referred to as “forever chemicals,” PFAS do not break down in the environment and take decades for the human body to break down.
There is mounting evidence linking PFAS to a long list of negative health effects including:
- Liver damage
- Decreased fertility
- Increased risk of thyroid disease
- Growth, learning, and behavior impairment
- Interference with the body’s natural hormones
- Decreased response to vaccines
- Increased cholesterol levels
PFAS in our communities
With Gov. Evers' leadership, Wisconsin passed the first-ever statewide PFAS water standards in 2022. The PFAS administrative rules are a significant step toward making sure all Wisconsinites have access to clean, safe drinking water. With historic levels of federal funding from Pres. Joe Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, communities that test and find high levels of PFAS in their water now have the resources to make their water safer to drink.
Our next step is ensuring there's finding in the state budget for PFAS remediation and push for state legislation to address the PFAS crisis. We will continue to work to expand the protections to bring down levels of PFAS in our water and eliminate this threat entirely.
Over 70 communities across the state have detected PFAS contamination, including Eau Claire, La Crosse, Madison, Green Bay, Marinette, Milwaukee, Peshtigo, and many more.
The PFAS Interactive Data Viewer
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) built an interactive tool with information about per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) throughout Wisconsin. The PFAS Interactive Data Viewer combines publicly available information from multiple sources across the DNR’s website into one tool to allow users to more easily explore what is known about PFAS in Wisconsin.
Available information in the PFAS Interactive Data Viewer includes locations with known contamination, PFAS-related fish and game consumption advisories and waterbodies throughout Wisconsin sampled during targeted or routine monitoring.
Data from the DNR’s recent voluntary municipal drinking water system sampling program is also included. Through this program, almost 150 municipal water systems worked with the DNR to determine if PFAS is present in their drinking water. These systems provide water to more than 1.7 million people.