The United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) announced the release of health advisories for four perfluoroalkyl substances (“PFAS”) in a pre-publication notice. See FRL 9855-01-OW.
Included are interim updated lifetime drinking water health advisories for perfluorooctanoic acid (“PFOA”) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (“PFOS”), and final health advisories for hexafluoropropylene oxide (“HFPO”) dimer acid and its ammonium salt and perfluorobutane sulfonic acid and its related compound potassium perfluorobutane sulfonate.
PFAS consists of a large group of man-made chemicals that include perfluorooctanoic acid, perfluorooctane sulfonate, and GenX chemicals.
PFAS have been used in various industrial applications and in consumer products such as:
- Fabrics for furniture
- Paper packaging for food and other materials resistant to water, grease or stains
- Firefighting at airfields
- Utilization in several industrial processes
PFAS have been described as persistent in the environment and resist degradation.
Lifetime health advisory levels for GenX and PFBS are 10 parts per trillion (“ppt”) and 2,000 ppt, respectively. Interim lifetime health advisories for PFOA and PFOS are 0.004 and 0.02 ppt, respectively. Note that the health advisory levels for PFOA and PFOS are below the analytical levels of detection.
EPA states that the advisories are intended to indicate the level of drinking water contamination below which adverse health effects are not expected to occur. They do not constitute binding regulations. Instead, they are intended to provide technical information that federal and state agencies, along with local officials, can utilize in considering PFAS monitoring, treatment and policy issues.
A copy of the pre-publication notice can be downloaded here.
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