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Brevard County Pollutant Sampling for UF Research on PFAS Exposure

Per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) were detected in groundwater and drinking water throughout Brevard County in 2018 after the Department of Defense released their sampling report. Fight For Zero has partnered with the University of Florida (UF), a team that will consist of environmental health and engineering experts to lead the project's community engagement. This study will help us better understand PFAS contamination health risks and prevent exposures. 

Brevard County residents can become a part of this project and put on an exclusive email by signing up as a citizen scientist. You will gain access to our grassroots virtual meetings and training videos to learn how to take the samples. The testing kits and materials are provided along with an online workshop to discuss details and teach communities how to take samples. Below are some photos and video documentation of the start of this three-year project. You can learn more by visiting www.fight4zero.org/ufproject



Taking a sample from the Indian River Lagoon in Brevard County during Tropical Storm Eta in November 2020. 

On-site (in the field) training to learn how to properly collect water for PFAS. For instance, you should avoid using clothing or footwear that is brand new, waterproof, water-repellent, fire-repellent, or stain resistant. We use disposable, nitrile gloves and take extra caution not to touch any surface prior to sample collection. Then we store the PFAS samples to a dedicated color with fresh bagged ice (no chemical ice packs). 

One of the sample locations right before the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station ramp.

Flooding was noted in Cocoa Beach during and after Tropical Storm Eta. 

Flooding was noted in Cocoa Beach during and after Tropical Storm Eta. 

The Indian River Lagoon during Tropical Storm Eta in November of 2020. The river was already green from an active algae bloom and foam was noted in the paperwork when taking a sample of the water. 

The Indian River Lagoon during Tropical Storm Eta in November of 2020. The river was already green from an active algae bloom and foam was noted in the paperwork when taking a sample of the water. 

At the Port St. John boat ramp there was some flooding noted prior to taking water samples

Water samples were taken at the Port St. John boat ramp where the power plant is visible

Executive Director of Fight For Zero, Stel Bailey, takes water samples from the Indian River Lagoon

On-site (in the field) training to learn how to properly collect water for PFAS. For instance, you should avoid using clothing or footwear that is brand new, waterproof, water-repellent, fire-repellent, or stain resistant. We use disposable, nitrile gloves and take extra caution not to touch any surface prior to sample collection. Then we store the PFAS samples to a dedicated color with fresh bagged ice (no chemical ice packs). 

On-site (in the field) training to learn how to properly collect water for PFAS. For instance, you should avoid using clothing or footwear that is brand new, waterproof, water-repellent, fire-repellent, or stain resistant. We use disposable, nitrile gloves and take extra caution not to touch any surface prior to sample collection. Then we store the PFAS samples to a dedicated color with fresh bagged ice (no chemical ice packs). 

We have a youth citizen science program where the kids can also learn how to take samples using a designated training container. Fight For Zero can also sign off on volunteer hours needed for school programs. 

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