Most states, including Illinois, don’t track toxic foam use

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CHICAGO (AP) – Illinois is one of 33 states not tracking the use of a toxic firefighting foam that has prompted the military to check U.S. bases for potential groundwater contamination caused by chemicals.

The foam was likely used at certain airports, refineries and other sites at risk for catastrophic petroleum fires. It contains perfluorinated compounds linked to cancer and other illnesses.

Five states are tracking those chemicals and 12 others are beginning or planning to investigate them. But the 33 other states, including Illinois, are waiting action by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The Illinois EPA and Department of Public Health say they would recommend or require monitoring if alerted to a situation that could taint water supplies or pose a health risk. But they don’t plan any routine testing.

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