Understanding PFAS and Your Home Garden
There are many ways individuals can be exposed to PFAS, including their clothing, what they cook with, their water, personal care products, and materials in their homes. Your garden may be one potential source of PFAS exposure.
There are a number of routes that PFAS may have entered your garden as outlined on this page. If none of these apply to your garden, you are likely at low risk for PFAS being present in your garden.
The purpose of this document is to help you investigate the likelihood of elevated levels of PFAS in your garden.
This guide is a living document that will be updated regularly. This version was updated on November 14, 2022 and reflects the best available information at this time. Please bookmark this page and check back on a regular basis for the latest version.
Steps to Understanding PFAS:
- Step 1: What are PFAS and Where Did They Come From?
- Step 2: Are There PFAS Compounds Already in My Garden?
- Step 3: Can I Test My Water for PFAS?
- Step 4: What Can I Do if My Water is Contaminated with PFAS?
- Step 5: Can I Take a Soil Test to Check for PFAS in My Garden?
- Step 6: What Can I Do if My Soil is Contaminated with PFAS?
- Step 7: Do the Amendments I Buy (Composts and Fertilizers) Contain PFAS?
- Step 8: Should I Eat Produce Grown in My Garden?
Compiled and Reviewed by:
- Rebecca Long, Sustainable Agriculture, and Horticulture Professional, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
- Rick Kersbergen, Extension Professor Sustainable Dairy and Forage Systems, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
- Caleb Goosen, Organic Crop and Conservation Specialist, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA)
- Andrew Smith, State Toxicologist, Maine Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)
- Tracy Kelly, Public Service Coordinator, Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)
- Matt Wallhead, Assistant Professor of Horticulture, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
- Caragh Fitzgerald, Associate Professor of Agriculture, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Contacts for More Information
For gardening-related PFAS questions:
University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Phone: 207.581.3188, 1.800.287.0274 (in Maine)
Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA)
Anna Libby, Community Education Director
For health-related questions:
Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
For questions about DEP PFAS testing, “Tier” status of your property, concerns about your residential well, and spreading record details for your property:
Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP):
Tracy Kelly, Public Service Coordinator
|To direct questions to University of Maine Cooperative Extension, please email: extension.PFASQuestions@maine.edu|
Information in this publication is provided purely for educational purposes. No responsibility is assumed for any problems associated with the use of products or services mentioned. No endorsement of products or companies is intended, nor is criticism of unnamed products or companies implied.
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