Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a large group of human-made chemicals used in industry and consumer products since the 1940s.  You find them in non-stick cookware, water-repellent clothing, stain-resistant fabrics and carpet, some cosmetics, firefighting foams, and products that resist grease, water, and oil.  They strongly resist breaking down and can build up in people, animals, and the environment over time.

City of Madison Guide to PFAS

For news and updates about PFAS in Dane County, visit Public Health Madison Dane County.

How can I be exposed to PFAS?

  • Eating PFAS-Contaminated Fish – Follow guidelines for eating fish from Lakes Monona, Waubesa, Kegonsa, the Yahara River, and Starkweather Creek.
  • PFAS Foam on Waterways – Most lake foam is natural, but some types should be avoided.
  • Drinking Water – Madison tap water meets all proposed PFAS federal and state standards for drinking water safety. 
  • Using Consumer Products – Nonstick cookware, food packaging, cosmetics, household dust, stain-resistant coatings on carpets or furniture, etc.
  • Reducing Your Exposure – Follow Public Health’s guidelines to reduce PFAS exposure.

PFAS Contamination in Dane County

Surface water and fish in Starkweather Creek, Lake Monona, and several downstream lakes and rivers contain PFAS.  A known source of pollution was the use of PFAS-containing firefighting foam at the Wisconsin National Guard’s 115th Fighter Wing and Dane County Regional Airport.