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Univ. of Rhode Island receives $8M federal grant to research perfluorinated compounds

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Firefighting foam, shown here, was used during training exercises at Joint Base cape Cod. Researchers at URI will study the ewffects of this practice on groundwater. Photo: Wikipedia Commons. 

RHODE ISLAND, AUG 22, 2017 -- Researchers at the University of Rhode Island and Harvard University will start testing drinking water in Cape Cod after Labor Day for perfluorinated compounds, according to Rhode Island Public Radio.

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences awarded a five-year, $8 million grant to researchers to look for perfluorinated compounds in groundwater around Joint Base Cape Cod. The military training site used firefighting foam during training exercises. The foam has been found to contain PFOAs, which can contaminate groundwater long after their use.

"After (training) is done, the foam just seeps into the ground, and because the chemicals don't bind to the soil that strongly, it kind of migrates down to the drinking water and becomes part of the drinking water," Rainer Lohmann, oceanographer at URI and leader of the research team, said.

Lohmann's team will notify the public of their findings.

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