According to a new report done by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) and Boston's Northeastern University, millions of Americans across the United States are Drinking water that is contaminated with a toxic chemical.

What chemical is affecting so many Americans?

The report found that across 27 different states, 15 million people have drinking water that is polluted with a toxic chemical known as perfluorochemicals (PFCs). PFCs were used to make nonstick cookware, food packaging, outdoor clothing and more items because of their nonstick and waterproof properties. They have been connected to causing thyroid disease, weakened immune systems and even cancer.

It only takes tiny clusters of PFCs in drinking water to be deemed a public health threat.

Featured in the report is an interactive map that the EWG and Northeastern made that integrates data from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and all known cases of PFC contamination. Despite that fact that there is growing evidence of the health problems that PFCs can cause, there is currently not a single federal health regulation in place to put a check on the amount of PFCs in drinking water. In fact, the EPA has not added any new contaminant to the 1974 Safe Water Drinking Act in the last 25 years.

More information on perfluorochemicals

As mentioned above some of the basic aspects of perfluorochemicals (PCFs), like what they are used for, was discussed. Documented cases of PCF pollution comes from a variety of locations that range from civilian airports and military airbases to manufacturing plants and fire training sites.

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PCFs are a group of synthetic chemicals that are water-repelling, oil-repelling and nonstick. Due to these traits, they can remain in the environment and accumulate in animals. Studies have also suggested that certain PCFs can take many years to be cleared from the human body.

The most commonly produced PCFs in the United States of America are perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which are also two of the most commonly detected forms of the toxic chemical in humans. The major sources of human exposure to PCFs are not really understood, with suspected causes ranging from breast milk, food, air, dust and obviously water. It is also suspected that developing fetuses can be exposed to these chemicals while developing in the womb.