A new method for breaking down PFAS shows promise

While there’s reason for optimism, there needs to be stronger regulation on PFAS chemical usage, according to Tom Perkins.

This month, Michigan activists urged federal officials to strengthen the government’s efforts to research and regulate PFAS. Three years ago, Michigan had the most known PFAS contaminated sites in the country.

A major problem with PFAS particles is that they do not break down in the human body or the environment. But a new study shows some promising signs that this may change.

“Once we pull the chemicals out of the water, something needs to happen with them that’s not incineration or injecting them into the earth or putting them into landfills.” — Tom Perkins, freelance journalist

Listen: A new method for decomposing some PFAS compounds.


Tom Perkins is a freelance reporter for a variety of outlets, including the Metro Times, Slate and the Guardian. He says scientists hope the new method will allow for the safe disposal of PFAS collected after filtering it from water.

“So this new method would allow us…to defluorinated them, and turn them into something that is pretty inert,” says Perkins. “And scientists hope this is going to kind of solve the problem.”

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