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Protecting Brevard from Toxic Chemicals

Don't let PFAS go unnoticed. Fight for Zero is a partner in a research initiative dedicated to collecting data on PFAS chemicals on Florida's space coast. Our primary goal is to provide valuable information to the community and promote actions that protect our health and environment.

The Hidden Dangers of PFAS Chemicals: What You Need to Know

What are PFAS Chemicals? PFAS chemicals are known as “forever chemicals,” a family of potentially thousands of synthetic chemicals that are extremely persistent in the environment and in our bodies. PFAS includes chemicals known as PFOS, PFOA, and GenX.

Why are we concerned? A growing body of science has found that there are potential adverse health impacts associated with PFAS exposure, including liver damage, thyroid disease, decreased fertility, high cholesterol, obesity, hormone suppression, and cancer. These chemicals can easily migrate into the air, dust, food, soil, and water.

How do I know if my drinking water has PFAS? If you are concerned about PFOA, PFOS, GenX chemicals, or other groups of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances like PFBA and PFBS in your drinking water, you can purchase a Cyclopure PFAS kit to test. 

What filters removed PFAS? Both granular activated carbon (GAC) and reverse osmosis (RO) filters can reduce PFAS substances. Both systems provide less water flow than a standard water faucet. 

Who is at the most risk for PFAS? Children and pregnant and lactating women have higher exposure to PFAS because they tend to drink more water per pound of body weight than the average person, and as a result, they may have higher exposure. 

What does PFAS do to your body? Altered immune and thyroid function, liver disease, lipid and insulin dysregulation, kidney disease, adverse reproductive and developmental outcomes, and cancer. 

How do I know if I have PFAS in my body? A blood test for PFAS can tell your levels when the blood is drawn. Most people have PFAS in their bodies. 

How do you flush PFAS from your body? There isn't a way to remove PFAS from the body, but you can reduce your level of exposure by not using products, drinking water, or eating fish that contain it. 

Understanding the Presence of PFAS in Our Community

These toxic chemicals are used in firefighting foam, which is extensively used in airports and military bases, and fluoropolymers (a specific class of PFAS) in the aerospace industry.


As a result, many communities near these facilities have been exposed to high levels of contamination, resulting in serious health issues.


PFAS are a family of more than 10,000 man-made chemicals that have been used for almost 70 years in many manufacturing and industrial applications. These chemicals, over time, leak into soil, water, and air. 

At Fight for Zero, we believe that it is essential to hold polluters accountable for their role in PFAS pollution and work towards finding alternative solutions.

PFAS Chemicals in Cape Canaveral Florida
PFAS Chemicals in the Indian River Lagoon


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How flooding moves water contamination on floridas space coast
Palm Bay water quality

Understanding How Flooding Moves Pollution

Floods can be especially dangerous, carrying hazardous pollutants and chemicals like PFAS into residential neighborhoods and parks.

Coastal communities deal with intense storm surges and inland flooding. During hurricanes and extreme weather events, sediment can be carried and deposited downstream in residential neighborhoods and parks. Flooding carries hazardous pollutants and can transport harmful chemicals like PFAS further inland and contaminate the soil.

These events can increase your risk of exposure to contaminants that harm health, such as heavy metals, pesticides, and PFAS, by spreading with floodwaters. 

Flooding also intensifies infrastructure issues, causing "boil" notices, contamination of drinking water sources, and failure of sewage systems, forcing wastewater treatment facilities to discharge material into surrounding water bodies. The risk of exposure is great when industrial or agricultural land is next to residential land. It is vital to assess the risk to communities at the fenceline of polluting facilities and for state agencies to protect them from harm. 

At Fight for Zero, we are dedicated to ensuring that all communities have access to clean water and air, and we take a comprehensive approach to flood risk mitigation. This includes identifying areas at high risk of flooding, implementing resilience measures, and promoting sustainable environmental practices to reduce the likelihood of future floods.

Explore sea level rise and coastal flood threats with this interactive map by

EPA Coastal Flood Hazards Map

Together We Can Achieve Zero Pollution

Following the release of a report by the Department of Defense on the presence of PFAS chemicals in Brevard County's water, we at Fight for Zero knew that we had to act. These chemicals are known to cause cancer and other health problems, and our goal is to ensure that the public is aware of this threat and is demanding action to address it. We are constantly working to educate the public and raise awareness of this issue.

In collaboration with the University of Florida and organizations like ORCA, citizen scientists with Fight for Zero have gathered over 500 data points in Brevard County. This data establishes a baseline and shows how storm flooding can exacerbate the transport of contaminants from polluted sites to the Indian River Lagoon and surrounding communities. The community sampling efforts include measuring PFAS concentrations at key locations across the county where people may come into contact with contaminated soil and water.

Although the project primarily centers on Brevard County, researchers also collected data on PFAS in Jacksonville and other communities across Florida for additional studies.

One of our main focuses is addressing PFAS contamination, which has become a serious concern for our coastal communities. We believe in utilizing the latest scientific research and working collaboratively with national and regional allies to educate the public and fight for meaningful change. Our goal is to ensure that every person can live in a safe and healthy environment.

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PFAS Water Test Kit: Peace of Mind for Your Family

Concerned about your water quality? Don’t wait for symptoms of exposure to PFAS. This PFAS water test kit is a fast, easy, and affordable way to check for harmful substances in your drinking water. Get peace of mind with a reliable reading in weeks, plus helpful resources on what to do next.

Over the last three years, we have worked tirelessly with dedicated volunteers and experts to make a difference. Our journey has been full of challenges, but we are proud of the progress we have made. Take a look at the images below to see some of the accomplishments we have achieved.

Research Documents and Sources to Share

Assessment of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the Indian River Lagoon and Atlantic coast of Brevard County, FL, reveals distinct spatial clusters: 

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in plasma of the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus):

Perfluorinated alkyl acids and fecundity assessment in striped mullet at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge:

Variation in perfluoroalkyl acids in the American alligator at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge:

Ticks as novel sentinels to monitor environmental levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS):

A rapid and simple method to quantify per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in plasma and serum using 96-well plates:


Metabolic profiling in human SHSY5Y neuronal cells exposed to perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA):

Using Regulatory Classifications to Assess the Impact of Different Land Use Types of PEr- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substance Concentrations in Stormwater Pond Sediments:

The last straw: Characterization of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in commercially available plant-based drinking straws:

Evaluation of extraction workflows for quantitative analysis of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances: A case study using soil adjacent to a landfill:

Visit the UF Department of Environmental & Global Health here:

Concentrating Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) in Municipal Solid Waste Landfill Leachate Using Foam Separation:

Brevard County PFAS Research Project In the News

UF News: Deliz Receives EPA Grant to Build Community Resilience Against PFAS Exposure Due to Flooding

Spectrum News: Brevard County the Focus of a UF Study on Contaminants, Flooding


Hometown News: Fight for Zero announces a new study with UF, resident input


Florida Today: UF to unveil results from 'forever' chemical study in Brevard


NEWS13: Uni­versity of Florida reveals 1st findings of ‘forever chemical’ study in Brevard County

The Gainsville Sun: UF Scientist to lead PFAS Study

UF News: Deliz receives EPA Grant to Build Community Resilience Against PFAS Exposure Due to Flooding

Florida Today: Forever Chemicals Lurk Everywhere Florida Looks for them in the Indian River Lagoon

Are you ready to help make a difference for future generations by collecting scientific data through water, soil, and air sampling? We are building teams of citizen scientists in each city of Brevard County to collect samples and share those results with your communities. 

Brevard County residents can become a part of this project and put on an exclusive email by signing up as citizen scientists. 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. If you would like to help us collect water around your community, submit your name, city, phone, and email.

Become a Citizen Scientist

Frequently Asked Questions

Will you test our soil or water? Our testing locations are carefully chosen using data, science, and with the scope of this study in mind. We do not have the funding to assist in additional environmental testing at this time. Other testing projects done by Fight For Zero are done to collect comprehensive data. If you are searching for information on testing, please visit 

How do I become a Fight For Zero citizen scientist? Use our sign-up form to add your name to the list. For this project, our teams commit to three months to collect surface water samples from locations across Brevard. This project does change with time as we narrow down areas and begin our storm season sampling. Also, it's important to note that we have over 100 volunteers signed up with a waitlist, but scientists are always reaching out to our team searching for volunteers on other projects, so please sign up! 

What should I expect when becoming a Fight For Zero citizen scientist? As a team member, you will sign a three-month commitment and receive all needed equipment, such as sampling bottles, gloves, grabbers, coolers, meters, and educational materials. You will also get limited Fight For Zero swag, be put into a citizen scientist chat, and automatically become a Fight For Zero grassroots member with the opportunity to become a leader. 

Do you have other volunteer opportunities? We have numerous other volunteer opportunities from blog writing, tech work, social media moderation, and grant writing. Additionally, our academic partners regularly do projects and reach out for volunteers. 

How much money does Fight For Zero receive for this project? This project is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through a grant. Fight For Zero is a sub-recipient working as community partners assisting in engagement and citizen science. Fight For Zero receives $5,000 in total a year to cover our costs by reimbursement. Our costs are paid out of pocket, and we get reimbursed after submitting receipts and hours worked. 100% of our hours worked are donated to the nonprofit by the Executive Director and Vice President to continue covering expenses and additional testing kits for the community. You can view our financials at  


Unless stated, the information on this website, including images, text, audio, video, and other forms of content is copyrighted and may not be downloaded, reproduced, republished, or otherwise copied without express written permission of Fight For Zero. Images with logos may be shared. 

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