Nearly half of US prisons may be facing exposure to harmful “perpetual chemicals” in their water supply, raising concerns about health disparities and human rights issues within the justice system. A recent study found that 47% of prison facilities are at risk of PFAS contamination, affecting approximately 990,000 individuals, including juveniles.

The researchers highlighted the vulnerability of prisoners to PFAS contamination due to limited opportunities to mitigate exposure. The study also raised environmental justice concerns, noting the overrepresentation of marginalized communities in the prison population. Nick Shapiro, senior author and medical anthropologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, compared the incarcerated population to the fifth largest city in the United States.

A significant number of US prisons located in areas likely to be contaminated with PFAS compounds increase the health risks faced by inmates, who are already in poorer health compared to the general population. This highlights the broader threat PFAS poses to US drinking water and the urgent need to address this issue to protect public health. After years of advocacy by affected communities, scientists and environmental activists, the EPA recently proposed drinking water standards for six “forever chemicals,” including PFAS.

By Samantha Johnson

As a dedicated content writer at, I immerse myself in the art of storytelling through words. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for crafting engaging narratives, I strive to captivate our audience with each piece I create. Whether I'm covering breaking news, delving into feature articles, or exploring thought-provoking editorials, my goal remains constant: to inform, entertain, and inspire through the power of writing. Join me on this journalistic journey as we navigate through the ever-evolving media landscape together.

Leave a Reply