PFAS Found near Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids

Via Flickr

Maxwell Bernstein | April 2, 2021

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have been used in industry in the United States since the 1940s, and never break down, according to the EPA. Since they never break down, they accumulate in the body and in the environment.

According to the Iowa Capital Dispatch, these chemicals are found in, “airport firefighting foam, food packaging, carpet, dental floss, cookware, paints, cosmetics, cleaning products and waterproof clothing, and other products.”

Scientists from the University of Iowa have found PFAS in 20 rural wells near the Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids and 14 wells south and east of the airport, according to the Iowa Capital Dispatch.

The health effects of PFAS include infant birth weights, effects on the immune system, cancer, and thyroid hormone disruption.

“Green” airports?

Photo by Travelin’ Librarian, Flickr.

Airports aren’t commonly viewed as environmentally friendly places, but Eastern Iowa Airport is making the initial steps to lower its environmental impact.

Last year, the airport upgraded their interior and exterior lighting. This reduced the airport’s energy use by about 80 percent.

The airport is also considering installing small wind turbines. This is not an unprecedented step; Boston’s Logan International Airport installed 20 wind turbines in 2008.

Read more about both Easter Iowa Airport and other airports’ “green” plans here.