Step 6: What Can I Do if My Soil is Contaminated with PFAS?
Once you have investigated the history of your garden and tested your soil:
- There is no legal requirement to self-report PFAS levels. However, you may want to reach out to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to let them know and to get the most up-to-date guidance. Center for Disease Control (CDC) can be contacted for health concern-related questions. Visit the Contacts for More Information page for those contact numbers and information.
- Research on plant uptake and accumulation of PFAS is still in the very early stages. There are no guidelines currently available for what levels of PFAS in garden soil and irrigation water are acceptable. Early-stage research results suggest that PFAS accumulates more in leafy and stem plant parts and less in storage roots, fruits, and seeds/grains. So, it appears that there would be a lower likelihood of PFAS accumulation in tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, corn kernels, and other fruiting parts of plants. There would be a higher potential for PFAS accumulation in lettuce, spinach, and other greens.
- Out of an abundance of caution, if you want to stop growing any type of plant, leafy greens are often the most likely to accumulate soil contaminants and this appears to hold true for PFAS as well.
- Currently, there are no documented means of effectively reducing PFAS levels in soil.
|To direct questions to University of Maine Cooperative Extension, please email: extension.PFASQuestions@maine.edu