The Commonwealth Utilities Corp. has detected levels of PFOS and PFOA that exceed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency health advisory level of 70 parts per trillion in a limited area of its drinking water system.
PFOS refers to perfluorooctane sulfonate and PFOA is perfluorooctanoic acid—human-made substances that are not naturally found in the environment..
The affected area includes the following villages: Chalan Laulau, ;Hying, Chalan Kiya, As Terlaje, Kanat Tabla, Fina Sisu, and parts of Gualo Rai, As Lito and As Perdido.
CUC is advising consumers in these areas to avoid ingesting the water at this time until the concentrations of PFOS and PFOA are below the health advisory level.
Consumers should not drink tap water, cook with tap water, or make ice for consumption with tap water.
CUC is making this advisory action to help the affected population limit their lifetime exposure to these chemicals.
On May 19, 2016, EPA issued new nationwide drinking water health advisories regarding PFOS and PFOA. These health advisories are based on the latest science available and help local water systems and regulatory agencies take appropriate steps to address PFOA and PFOS if needed.
PFOS and PFO have been used in commercial goods (carpets, clothing, furniture, paper packaging for food) and in materials that are resistant to water, grease or stains such as cookware. They are also used in firefighting foams at airfields and in a number of industrial processes. Between 2000 and 2002, PFOS was voluntarily phased out of production in the U.S. by its primary manufacturer.
While consumer products are a large source of human exposure to these chemicals, drinking water can be an additional source of exposure in communities where these chemicals have entered and contaminated water supplies. Such contamination is typically localized and associated with a specific facility, for example, an airfield at which they were used for firefighting.
EPA has established lifetime health advisories of 70 parts per trillion for combined concentrations of PFOA and PFOS in drinking water. EPA health advisories include a margin of protection from adverse health effects when consumed at these levels over a lifetime. (PR)