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More than 200 private drinking wells in Suffolk County have PFAS levels over the state standard

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On Long Island, Suffolk County officials said they are not able to test private drinking water wells for the cancer-causing “forever chemicals” known as PFAS, according to an analysis by Newsday.

Suffolk County health department officials said they don’t currently have the ability to test for PFAS in private wells, but hope to have the equipment operational by the end of this year.

New York State set one of the country’s most aggressive drinking water standards for PFAS two years ago, at 10 parts per trillion.

Newsday found that PFAS have been detected in almost half of Suffolk’s 1,400 private wells — 200 of them were above the standard.

PFAS chemicals are considered harmful even in small amounts, and have been linked to cancer and other diseases. The forever chemicals have been found in firefighting foam and common household cleaners.

Desiree reports on the lives of military service members, veterans, and their families for WSHU as part of the American Homefront project. Born and raised in Connecticut, she now calls Long Island home.