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Sweden plans national survey of drinking water

"Firefighter foam could be a major source"
4:31 min

After chemical compounds were found in the water supply of parts of southern Sweden, the country will now conduct a national survey of drinking water in all municipalities.

PFAS, or perfluorinated alkyl acids, were found recently in a groundwater source in the area around Kallinge and residents have since received their drinking water from elsewhere.

The substance, which is now banned, previously existed in foam used by firefighters to extinguish flames. All municipalities have now been called upon to study their water supply.

Anders Glynn, a toxicologist at Sweden's National Food Agency, said it's unclear how dangerous these compounds could be.

"If you look at the exposure that regular Swedes have, the exposure levels are not that high," he said, "but in some of these instances where the drinking water has been contaminated the exposures are much, much higher and even up to the level that now is regarded as safe."

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