In today's Providence Journal (couldn't find the story online).
URI received an $8 million grant to study the toxic effects of PFASs (Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances) on human health and the environment.
PFASs are chemicals used to make products more stain resistant, waterproof and/or nonstick. The chemicals are used in non-sticking cooking sprays, stain resistant upholstered furniture, carpets, clothing, shoes, mattresses and used to fight fires at airfields.
"PFASs have been shown to increase cholesterol levels in humans, interfere with metabolism and the immune system, and raise the risk of cancer... PFASs pose a serious public health threat because they don't break down in the environment and can accumulate in a human body over time."
Higher than expected levels have been found in Narragansett Bay. It is believed the source of the chemicals comes from metal plating or textile industries.
Also, according to Friends Of Warwick Ponds: "These are the same chemicals used in the fire fighting apparatus at the airport. RIAC has agreed to use a non toxic foam in the future, but would like the approval to make the transition after depleting their two year inventory of the toxic foam. Our position continues to be to start using the non toxic foam immediately. If they want to use the two year inventory of toxic material, they must contain, collect, and use offsite disposal. With the severity of the effects of this chemical there should be no discussions."
Researchers are looking for new evidence to justify the need to limit current exposures, and are also looking to find ways in preventing chemicals that have similar properties from entering the environment.
Warwick Watch recommends a preventive measure to avoid PFASs: STOP USING/BUYING anything that contains them!