JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) – A toxic chemical commonly used in fabric waterproofing, non-stick cookware, and other applications, has been detected in Jamestown’s Chadakoin River.
The finding was announced by the Chautauqua-Conewango Consortium, a waterkeeper group in Western New York.
Samples collected from the Chadakoin were tested for a group of pollutants known as PFAS, organic chemicals have been used in non-stick pans, water and stain-resistant fabrics, and food packaging since the 1950s and more recently in fire-fighting foam.
Known human health risks from the chemical include increased frequency of cancer, liver and kidney disease, reproductive issues, immunodeficiencies, and hormonal disruptions.
A national study, “Unprecedented Analysis Reveals PFAS Contamination in U.S. Waterways Shows Shocking Levels of Contamination” determined at least one PFAS chemical was detected in 83 percent of the 114 waterways sampled.
Last month, the New York Department of Health issued proposed regulations for the PFAS chemicals in drinking water, proposing regulations to require public water systems to reduce levels of the substance.
The Chautauqua-Conewango Consortium plans to expand testing of the river, and the Conewango watershed, to its monitoring of this substance going forward.