Several rivers and creeks around Philadelphia contain the toxic class of chemical PFAS — from the Schuylkill River, to the Wissahickon, Neshaminy, and Valley creeks — according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
PFAS can remain in the bloodstream for years, and the chemicals are linked to serious health problems, including some cancers, thyroid disease, ulcerative colitis, and developmental delays in children. That has led to numerous lawsuits against companies that make the products, such as DuPont and its successor companies, and 3M.
The USGS tested 61 Pennsylvania rivers and streams for PFAS, and found 76% contained one or more types of the chemical. The highest concentrations of PFAS were found in high-population areas, including Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.