A late evening storm rolled through Cleveland on Wednesday night, May 26, 2021, and left a spectacular sunset behind.David Petkiewicz, cleveland.com
CLEVELAND, OH — Rain that fell on Ohio this spring contained a surprisingly high amount of toxic “forever chemicals” known as PFAS, according to raw data from a binational Great Lakes monitoring program that tracks airborne pollution.
Rainwater collected in Cleveland over two weeks in April contained a combined concentration of about 1,000 parts-per-trillion (ppt) of PFAS compounds. That’s according to scientists at the Integrated Atmospheric Deposition Network (IADN), a long-term Great Lakes monitoring program jointly funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Canada.
The samples are part of a new IADN effort to analyze the prevalence of PFAS in precipitation across the Great Lakes. The network has other monitoring stations in Illinois, Michigan and New York and the chemicals were detected there, too.
The preliminary data is unpublished and undergoing quality reviews, but researchers say early analysis shows PFAS chemicals to be major contaminant in regional rain and snow.