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Health, Science & Environment

Dayton Threatening To Sue Wright-Patterson Over Forever Chemicals In Water Supply

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The City of Dayton is threatening to sue Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the Department of Defense over chemicals in the city's drinking water. They say the suit is a last resort to protect the city’s water supply.

PFAS, or per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are called "forever chemicals." That means they stay in the environment and in the human body for a very long time. They have been linked to health effects like cancer and low birth weights.

The chemicals have also been used in airport firefighting foam for a long time, because they're so stable, they smother fires.

Now, testing shows that there are high levels of PFAS at more than 20 sites across Wright-Patterson.

Dayton says those chemicals are migrating towards the well field where the city gets a large part of its drinking water. The city says that, so far, the base and the Department of Defense have taken no steps to mitigate or address the contamination.