Shaw Institute Launches PFAS Testing in Blue Hill

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Residents Are Eligible to Apply for Free PFAS Testing

Blue Hill, ME, June 10, 2024 –  Is your drinking water safe? The Shaw Institute is conducting a new research study on in Blue Hill’s water to find an answer. Those interested in participating can sign up on the Shaw Institute website by clicking HERE.

The study will measure PFAS in both drinking and surface water through sampling of household wells and streams throughout the town. The study is funded by a grant that the Shaw Institute was awarded from the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund, which includes a limited number of free test kits. The Town of Blue Hill and the Institute are also providing additional resources to support the study.

PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are man-made chemicals used to repel oil and water in a wide variety of commercial and industrial products. Called “forever chemicals” because they stay in the environment for many years, PFAS have been linked to negative health effects in humans and animals. Most people are exposed to PFAS through drinking water, diet, or from contact with products in their home, including non-stick cookware, carpeting or clothing with stain-resistant coatings.

In 2021, Maine required PFAS testing of all public water supplies throughout the state, including schools, childcare facilities and group-living communities. Locally, elevated PFAS concentrations were found in the Blue Hill Consolidated School and the Parker Ridge Retirement Community. State testing did not establish the extent of contamination or the levels of exposure across Blue Hill.

The Shaw Institute study is designed to ensure the entire community is represented. If an address is not selected to receive a free test they may purchase a test kit from the Shaw Institute for $100. Thats offered at a significant savings due to our partnership with Cylcopure, an environmental service company specializing in PFAS. Names will be placed on a waiting list should additional funds become available for the purchase of more tests. Non-residents interested in having their water tested may also purchase a test kit. All results will be included in the study dataset and participants will receive a confidential analysis of their results.

The study runs from June to September 2024, or until funds are depleted. Overall study results will be analyzed during the Fall and a final report will be publicly available by the end of the year.

For more information, including detailed FAQs, visit the Shaw Institute’s PFAS Research Study website.

Donations are welcome to help fund the purchase of additional kits so more community members can participate.


Michelle Berger, Associate Scientist,
Tod Hardin, Media Specialist,

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About Shaw Institute
Shaw Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit scientific research organization based in Blue Hill, Maine. Established nearly 35 years ago, the Institute’s mission is to work to discover and expose environmental threats to the health and wellbeing of people and wildlife. The Institute’s research on PFAS began in 2009 with the publication of one of the earliest studies of PFAS contamination in marine mammals from the Gulf of Maine. The Institute also recently worked with the Town of Surry to investigate PFAS sources and distribution around Surry Elementary School. Dr. Charles Rolsky, Executive Director and Senior Research Scientist, is a member of Maine’s PFAS Fund Advisory Committee, which helps determine the distribution of state funds for PFAS research and mitigation.

About Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund
This project was funded in part by the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund, in which proceeds from the sale of a dedicated instant lottery ticket are used to support outdoor recreation and natural resource conservation. For more information about MOHF, go to