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Research show some PFAS destroyed, others created at Manchester incinerator

Jun 27, 2022

Jun. 26—Scientific researchers have recorded the destruction of some PFAS chemicals in a Manchester incinerator but also detected an unexplained amount of toxic fluoride emissions, according to research findings obtained by the New Hampshire Union Leader.

The Ohio research firm Battelle also found that while half the PFAS — the so-called forever chemicals — were destroyed in the Manchester wastewater treatment plant incinerator, others were created. The most common were GenX chemicals, the shorter-chain chemicals manufacturers have turned to as a substitute for PFAS.

Battelle, which is marketing its own treatment system, reported a synopsis of the findings to the state Department of Environmental Services and officials at the wastewater treatment plant in May.

Officials familiar with the findings say they need more data to draw conclusions. One public health advocate said the unexplained fluoride emissions show that experts have yet to get a handle on the forever chemical.

"It's clear to me, if you're having greater output than input, something is wrong," said Mindi Messmer, a former state representative and co-founder of the advocacy group New Hampshire Science and Public Health.

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