Community Action Works
Community Action Works

PFAS Water Contamination

In the past few years, millions of families across the country learned that the water coming out of their faucets was contaminated with chemicals linked to cancer, kidney disease, and more. We believe these families have the right to clean, non-toxic water.

Note: Community Action Works was formerly known as Toxics Action Center. 

The Problem:

PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are the toxic Teflon chemical found in non-stick pans, cleaning products, paints, food packaging, firefighting foam, among countless other products. The chemicals, estimated to be in the drinking water of over 110 million people Americans, are linked to cancers and low infant birth rates. Studies also show PFAS chemicals affect infant growth and learning, lower chances of pregnancy, affect immune systems, and interfere with natural hormones.

PFAS have been found in drinking water across the country with many families finding out they’ve been drinking the toxic chemicals for decades. These chemicals are extremely persistent in the environment, and contamination continues long after the active contamination has stopped. Unbelievably, loopholes won by multinational companies mean there is currently no required testing or cleanup, leaving families at risk.

The Solution:

We all deserve to know that the water coming out of our faucet is safe. That’s why Community Action Works is working to close the loopholes in our toxics regulations, strengthen drinking water protections, and supporting community groups who are fighting for their community’s right to clean drinking water.

  • Vermont: Community Action Works, Conservation Law Foundation, Vermont Natural Resources Council, and Vermont Public Interest Research Group pushed Vermont Governor Phil Scott to sign a bill to establish a drinking water standard for PFAS. This law requires comprehensive testing for PFAS at public water systems, includes a process to evaluate the regulation of PFAS as a class or subclasses, and provides the Agency of Natural Resources with additional tools to protect Vermonters from emerging contaminants.

Take Action:

Want to be part of the solution? Join and support community-led clean-up initiatives!

Start today! Sign the petition to help protect community groups from this contamination crisis and ensure all communities get clean water.

Is Your Community Being Affected?

There’s a lot of information on PFAS and it can be hard to know where to start. Many of the resources below were developed by our partners and are intended for people impacted by PFAS to get your questions answered.


Fact Sheets and Information on PFAS:


Health Studies Guide:

The Health Studies Guide can help you determine if a health study is right for your community.

Are you concerned about PFAS in your drinking water? Would conducting a health study facilitate the change you want to see? The Health Studies Guide is designed to help community groups clarify questions and goals, determine whether or not a health study is an appropriate strategy to investigate an environmental health concern, and develop a strategic plan to ensure that the health study produces the information that the community wants and needs.

Learn more about the Health Studies Guide. 

PFAS Conference Presentations:

2019 PFAS Conference, June 2019 At Northeastern University
We held the second national conference on PFAS and discussed our progress since the first conference and ways to move forward. Check out the presentations for PFAS updates and strategies for the future.

Highly Fluorinated Compounds Conference, June 2017 Learn more about PFAS in water through recordings of past conferences. at Northeastern University
In 2017, we held the first-ever national conference on PFAS, bringing activists, experts, scientists, laywers, and elected leaders together to discuss the PFAS crisis. Learn more about the gathering and check out presentations on a variety of topics from the two-day conference.


Watch the video to learn more about PFAS water contamination.

PFAS at Vermont Crossroads Conference
Check out a PFAS workshop to learn more from community leaders and experts on what these chemicals are, how communities have responded, and what you can do. We presented this workshop at the Vermont Crossroad Conference in November 2017. Watch the workshop presentation to learn more.