PFAS and other emerging contaminants

Developing characterization, treatment and remediation solutions for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and other emerging contaminants is a core competency of Jacobs and central to our sustainability ethos.

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Per- and poly-Fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a large family of organic compounds, including more than 3,000 manufactured fluorinated organic chemicals used since the 1940s.  

PFAS have unique surfactant properties that make them repel water and oil. They have been used extensively in aqueous film‑forming foams (AFFF) to extinguish class B (flammable liquid) fires; surface coatings and protective formulations for paper and cardboard packaging products; stain, wrinkle - and water-resistant and repellent fabrics; mist-suppressant foam blankets for chromium plating; nonstick products, polishes, waxes, paints and cleaning products; as well as industrial surfactants, emulsifiers, wetting agents, additives and coatings.

Due to their widespread use and persistence in the environment, most people in the U.S. and in countries around the world have been exposed to PFAS.  Studies indicate that exposure to some PFAS may lead to adverse health effects.

As a top ranked Environmental Consulting firm, Jacobs has decades of scientific research, characterization and remediation experience at numerous Superfund sites and other legacy industrial, military and research and development facilities cleaning up chlorinated solvents, petroleum contaminants, radiological waste and other hazardous chemicals deposited and transported in soil, groundwater, sediments, surface water, leachate, drinking water and wastewater.  

Our environmental and water-focused technologists have been supporting clients with PFAS assessment at 1,000’s of potential release locations around the globe.  We are leading the industry with treatment solutions, including validation of developing treatment technologies for PFAS-impacted water, as well as soil, which represents an overlooked potential ongoing source to groundwater contamination. 

Jacobs’ unique ability to shape the industry for PFAS solutions is drawn from our multidisciplinary expertise in the environmental, water, wastewater, solid waste, aviation and infrastructure domains. Our leadership is predicated on deep knowledge of our clients’ industries and processes combined with a thorough understanding of PFAS chemical behavior, regulatory issues and developing treatment approaches.

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