Environmental pollutants contaminate ground and groundwater: what to do if PFAS are suspected

Environmental pollutants contaminate ground and groundwater: what to do if PFAS are suspected
The media increas­ingly report about discoveries of PFAS. This group of substances, including over 4,000 individual substances, is globally widespread nowadays. Our contaminant expert Jörn Müller explains in this interview what organ­i­sa­tions can do in case of suspected PFAS existence.

Why are PFAS considered dangerous?

For years now, PFAS have been used in countless consumer goods, also in the paper or textile industry, and often are part of fire extinguishing foams. Hence, today this chemical substance is widespread in ground and groundwater worldwide. Only a few years back though it was discovered that PFAS are harmful to humans. Exactly how harmful to health the impact is and how to best deal with PFAS contaminations, that’s what experts around the globe are still investigating. However, one thing is for sure: PFAS are not to end up in the environment any longer and existing PFAS contaminations need to be remediated or at least secured.

Have any PFAS contaminations been identified in Germany?

In Germany, numerous PFAS contaminations have been uncovered, in groundwater and soil. This chemical bond goes along with unforeseen consequences. For example, in Nuremberg an existing PFAS contamination prevented the immediate site development of the local airport planned with a dedicated highway exit and tunnel underneath its runways. In the city of Rastatt on the other hand, two water treatment plants had to be shut down.

CDM Smith’s experts will carry out appropriate exploratory activities, as well as plan and supervise required remediation measures.
Contamination Expert Manager Jörn Müller

What needs to be done in case of a suspected PFAS contamination?

PFAS can be found around the globe. In particular for planned acquisitions of companies, industrial sites or plots of land as well as for project development procedures, the relevant site should be assessed through explorations and evaluations regarding potential PFAS contamination. Should that suspicion substantiate or be confirmed, remediation measures  should be taken into action as quickly as possible. We at CDM Smith have developed and succesfully implemented in our projects several approaches of remediating contaminated ground as well as groundwater. As a firm or public authority you can confidently rely on our expertise in any PFAS matter.

Troubled Waters: The Fight Against PFAS

This documentary short investigates a ubiquitous group of chemical compounds and reveals the ongoing efforts to remove them from our drinking water.

Jörn Müller Jörn Müller
If PFAS is suspected, our experts will always find a suitable solution.
Jörn Müller Senior Project Manager
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