Chemicals from nonstick manufacturing have been difficult to clean up
A new material can pull a toxic, hard-to-degrade industrial chemical from drinking water more effectively than current methods.
Perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, hangs around in the environment for years and might cause health problems for people and animals. A new polymer material traps PFOA molecules, making them easy to filter out of water, researchers report in the June 14 Journal of the American Chemical Society.
PFOA is one of several fluorine-containing molecules that have come under scrutiny in recent years. Known as perfluorinated compounds, the chemicals have been used to manufacture nonstick coatings on cookware and are in fire-suppressing foams used by the military and aviation industry.
Many manufacturers are phasing out PFOA and its chemical cousins, substituting less harmful molecules, but the problem hasn’t gone away. Once they’re in groundwater or rivers, the