Wednesday, August 17, 2016

33 States Have Polluted Drinking Water

A new study from Harvard says 33 states have public drinking water polluted with a class of toxic chemicals named polyfluoroakyl and perfluoroakyl or PFAS.  The study by two researchers from the Schools of Public Health and Applied Engineering shows levels of the two class of compounds exceed US EPA standards for drinking water (70ppt) in 194 of 4864 samples.  Exposure may be more widespread than the study indicates because government data on public drinking water contamination by PFAS is lacking for a third of the US population.  PFAS have been used in food wrapping and other consumer and industrial products because they impart fire, stain and water resistance properties for sixty years.  Long-chain PFAS are particularly resistant to degradation in the environment and bio-accumulate in wildlife and humans.  No surprise to US Person, these chemicals have been linked to cancer and their use stopped in manufacturing, yet the chemicals persist in the environment.  Another study showed that children chronically exposed to PFAS had lower that expected levels of antibodies against diphtheria and tetanus, diseases they had been immunized against. Wastewater treatment plants are unable to remove PFAS.  EPA has proposed a new rule requiring manufacturers to notify it ninety days before use of the compounds in resumed.  The study was published August 9th in Environmental and Technology Letters.