STUDY: Tap water of 6 million in the US contains PFASs

Aug. 18, 2016
Study finds perfluoroalkyl substances exceeding safety limits across the country.

WASHINGTON, DC, AUGUST 18, 2016 -- The drinking water of six million Americans contains industrial chemicals known as polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in levels that exceed recommended US safety limits, according to a new study led by researchers at Harvard University. Samples of drinking water taken near industrial sites, military fire training areas and wastewater treatment plants have highest levels of these compounds, the study found.

From the study abstract, "Analysis of 2013–2015 national drinking water PFAS concentrations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (US EPA) third Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR3) program" showed that 66 of the public water supplies serving six million people, had at least one water sample that measured at or above the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) safety limit of 70 parts per trillion (ng/L) for two types of PFASs – perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).

Chemistry World reported that Elsie Sunderland, senior author of the study, called PFASs "potent immunotoxicants," and called for drinking water safety levels to be adjusted to reflect the harmful nature of these chemicals.

Read the study here.