MacRae speaks to BDN about PFAS in plumbing tape

Jean MacRae, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Maine, spoke to the Bangor Daily News about the presence of “forever chemicals” in Teflon plumber’s tape, which is used to fill the spaces between interlocking pipe threads to seal the pipes and prevent leaks. The tape is made with a likely carcinogen called perfluorooctanoic acid, more commonly called PFOA, which is a type of “forever chemical” that has contaminated community water supplies and private wells across Maine and the country. MacRae says that plumber’s tape is unlikely a major source of contamination, especially given all the other potential sources of PFAS now in the environment. The toxic chemicals have been found in rainwater across the world, in addition to household dust. “It’s possible the tape is contributing to contamination in drinking water, but I would think it’s surely not going to be just that,” MacRae said.