News Feature | May 30, 2018

Report: 1,500 Water Systems May Have PFOA, PFOS Contamination

Sara Jerome

By Sara Jerome,

Over 1,500 water systems across the country may be contaminated with PFAS chemicals, a category which includes PFOA and PFOS, according to a new report from the Environmental Working Group.

“This new research greatly exceeds EWG’s previous estimate of 16 million Americans being exposed to PFAS-contaminated water,” the report stated.

“The Environmental Working Group said its data shows the tap water supplies for about 110 million Americans have been impacted by the PFAS compounds,” The Marietta Times reported.

EWG encouraged states to set limits for PFAS compounds and to mandate contamination cleanups, the report stated.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt convened a working group to discuss PFAS contamination in May.

“He labeled the issue a national priority and promised certain steps toward potentially regulating the chemicals' presence in water,” The Hill reported.

“Among other steps, Pruitt said the EPA would formally consider whether to set national limits on the drinking water concentration of two of the thousands of chemicals in the family: perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS). The chemical industry even endorsed the actions, though cautioned that the EPA has to use sound science as it moves forward,” the report stated.

David Andrews, a senior scientist at the Environmental Working Group, was skeptical of the EPA’s efforts.

“At this point, it really just seems like a public show, with no action to really to back it up,” he said, per The Hill.

A recent report claimed the White House and the EPA sought to bury a study that would reveal a nationwide drinking water crisis.

“Scott Pruitt’s EPA and the White House sought to block publication of a federal health study on a nationwide water-contamination crisis, after one Trump administration aide warned it would cause a ‘public relations nightmare,’ newly disclosed emails reveal,” Politico reported.

The study would have showed that perfluorinated chemicals are unsafe for human health at a lower level than current U.S. EPA standards, the report said.