VESTAL (WBNG) -- As New York's Climate Week comes to a close, research is being done at a local level to determine how we can improve the Southern Tier.
At Binghamton University, Professor Yuxin Wang is collaborating with other professors on a project to improve local water quality.
The research focuses on a group of chemicals known as PFAs, and whether certain plants or fungi can filter these chemicals out of the water.
Professor Wang told 12 News Friday once these chemicals enter the environment, they don't usually come out.
"They're forever chemicals; that's because of the carbon and the flourine atoms… those carbon-flourine bonds, they are very strong, so that's why when they get to the environment they are so hard to degrade and so hard to remove them," she said.
The biochemistry professor added these chemicals are extremely harmful, and have been known to cause several kinds of cancer and even birth defects in human.
Wang said one of the biggest problems is how ubiquitous these chemicals are, found in everything from clothing to carpets and other household products.