Regulatory authorities have found PFAS chemicals that are potentially toxic in air, soil and water, including drinking water. The Japanese government has not yet introduced strict regulations aimed at these “forever chemicals” partly because there is no definitive link between PFAS exposure and serious illness. NHK created a map using public data to show where tap water contamination levels were reported across the country. In one town the concentration was almost 30 times higher than the government’s target. Residents are angry and many want to know if there is a connection between their health issues. We visited a possible source of contamination and looked at other potential contaminating sources throughout Japan. Then we asked an expert to tell us what the government should do to deal with this growing public health problem.


Koibuchi, Noriyuki, (Professor at the Graduate School of Medicine of Gunma University).