Study shows PFAS threat to drinking water in rural, predominantly Latinx communities

A close-up photo of a person filling glass with water from tap at home.

Public water wells in communities of color might be disproportionately polluted by pesticides contaminated with harmful per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), according to a new study led by a team of researchers from UC Berkeley.

The study, which was led by Rachel Morello Frosch—a professor in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management and School of Public Health—was published in Environmental Science and Technology Water’s special May issue on emerging contaminants in agroecosystems. It is the first evaluation of PFAS contamination from pesticides in California and the first environmental justice study on the issue.

Co-authors include ERG graduate students Seigi Karasaki and Jenny Rempel, and alum Lara Cushing, PhD ’15. Read more about the study at the School of Public Health.