Chemicals from firefighting foam and other sources

Coloradans face an emerging public health challenge from a family of chemicals found in toxic firefighting foam and other sources. The chemicals are known scientifically as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, and have been used for decades in many consumer products and industrial processes to repel oil and water, resist heat, and reduce friction.
We are still learning about health effects from exposure to these chemicals, but studies have found serious potential impacts including pregnancy complications, developmental delays in children, and increased cholesterol. Learn more about these chemicals and the department’s actions to reduce exposure by clicking on the links below. 

Action plan
Read about how the state will work to protect Colorado’s from risks posed by PFAS chemicals 
Required survey of permitted dischargers regarding use and storage of certain products containing PFAS, including Class B firefighting foam
2020 Sampling project
Public water systems now have the opportunity to show their customers their water is safe by testing for PFAS, for free! 

Your health
What you need to know about health effects from exposure to these chemicals  and the EPA’s health advisory for some PFAS compounds

Drinking water
Information about PFAS in drinking water, what the state is doing to protect our drinking water, and how to treat PFAS-contaminated water at home
Colorado laws
The state legislature passed several PFAS bills since 2019

Colorado-specific information
PFAS contamination in Colorado and the state’s responses to protect public health
Documents and information related to our work with stakeholders to develop Colorado’s PFAS narrative water quality policy to protect public health from PFAS contamination

Toxic firefighting foam
Frequently asked questions and resources about PFAS-containing firefighting foam as well as the state’s triennial PFAS-containing firefighting foam survey

Resources and contacts
Printable fact sheets, documents, links, contacts, and other PFAS related information
Two firefighters using a heavy hose to spray firefighting foam onto a large fire - image says PFAS Action Plan and has the CDPHE logo