Plant roots in healthy soil

Soil Bacteria Found to Break Down Some PFAS ‘Forever Chemicals’

Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, are known as “forever chemicals” due to their persistence in the environment and the difficulty of breaking them down. PFAS contamination in agricultural soils and/or water has become a particular concern that may affect the safety of the food supply. Now, researchers at the University of California, Riverside, have identified two species of soil bacteria that are able to break the chlorine-carbon bonds in chlorinated PFAS to begin breakdown of these chemicals. The researchers say that treatment of contaminated soils could be conducted by inoculating the soils with these bacteria if they’re not already present, or by increasing numbers of naturally occurring bacteria by adding an inexpensive nutrient source to the soil.