PFAS Update VII: PFAS Permeates National/Global Landscape

This super-sized edition of the SGS PFAS Update starts with news targeted to a national audience involving contamination identification, relation to disease, pending and desired legislation, and more. The news that 610 PFAS-contaminated water sites have been identified in 43 states pretty much sums up why this is an issue that demands and is getting a high level of attention, every day, everywhere. National stories are followed by state and global news. SGS continues to demonstrate why environmental professionals need to be aware, and even how and when the PFAS issue will reach their door.

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Around the United States

As EPA Stalls, 43 States Have Water Sites Contaminated with Toxic Chemicals
Michigan is by far the most impacted by PFAS contamination, followed by California and New Jersey. The findings underscore the wider water crisis facing the U.S. and are likely to increase pressure on the EPA to enact stricter limits on PFAS.

610 PFAS-Contaminated Water Sites in 43 States Pinpointed in New Interactive Map
As many as 19 million people in 43 states may be exposed to harmful contaminants in their drinking water, according to the Environmental Working Group and Northeastern University. An interactive map  locates publicly known pollution from PFAS chemicals nationwide, including public water systems, military bases, military and civilian airports, industrial plants, dumps and firefighter training sites, according to a news release.

Scientists Weigh in on CDC Decision to Exclude Cancer from PFAS Health Study
A trio of scientists say the CDC’s reasons for leaving cancer analysis out of a highly anticipated health study are legitimate. However, they said there are other ways for the agency to potentially address the question, and others were more critical.

Inverse Association of Colorectal Cancer Prevalence to Serum Levels Of PFOS and PFOA in a Large Appalachian Population
Found was an inverse association between PFOS and likelihood of CRC diagnosis and a significant, although more modest inverse association between PFOA and CRC. These findings may aid in identifying new strategies for CRC prevention and treatment and inform future studies regarding mechanisms underlying CRC pathogenesis.

Hearing on Protecting Americans At Risk Of PFAS Contamination & Exposure
The Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee held a legislative hearing on Wednesday, May 15 on a series of bills aimed at addressing perfluorinated compounds (PFAS) contamination.

Marco Rubio, Debbie Stabenow Team Up to Help Military Bases Impacted by PFAS
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., teamed up with U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., to bring out a proposal to “better enable federal agencies to address contamination for PFAS at military bases across the country in cooperation with state and local officials.”

Dissent within Alaska Agency over Chemical Dissent within Alaska Agency Classification
A decision by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation to redefine levels of certain chemicals considered safe in drinking water has caused dissent within the agency.

Where in Maine PFAS Pollutants Exist
At least seven sites in Maine are affected by PFAS, according to updated findings.

Rep. Bronna Kahle: The Safety of our Water is Top Priority
I am committed to finding long-term solutions to protect our water…I continue to support resources to identify and combat PFAS, in addition to the $125 million in statewide resources I have voted for since 2017.

New Hampshire
Ayer Residents Learn More about Water Contamination
The People of Ayer Concerned About the Environment (PACE) hosted an informational meeting environmental experts detailed the origins, national spread and potential health risks of PFAS. PFAS levels were detected in several town water wells within the last two years, causing residents concern over whether or not their public water supply is safe to drink.

New York
Emerging Contaminant Forces Water Rate Increases
Long Island’s only supply of drinking water comes from the ground, and the island’s industrial past has put this sole source aquifer in a precarious position for decades. But as more contaminants, including PFAS, are becoming regulated, the Suffolk County Water Authority is Groundwater filter methods are being ramped up including activated carbon filtration.

PFAS Chemicals in Drinking Water: How One Pa. Homeowner Took Matters into His Own Hands
The more Nathan Volpi learned about PFAS, a man-made chemical linked to various health conditions that isn’t routinely tested for in drinking water, the more it troubled him. Testing showed combined PFAS/PFOA levels of 186 parts per trillion, which triggered more local testing.

PA Lawmakers, Regulators Struggle to Address PFAS Contamination
Pennsylvania lawmakers and regulators say they’re frustrated with the EPA’s lack of urgency to address PFAS chemicals impacting communities in southeast Pennsylvania. But the state is having trouble getting its own regulations in place, and some say there are actions the DEP could already be taking.

Washington State
Washington State Enacts Sweeping Law to Regulate PFAS and Other Chemicals in Consumer Products and Packaging
The strongest state chemicals bill in the country was signed into Washington state law this week. The law empowers the state Department of Ecology to restrict the use of chemicals in virtually any consumer product and its packaging.

City website lists spread of biosolids
The City of Marinette recently posted an update to its website regarding the possibility of water contamination on local agricultural land resulting from decades of spreading city biosolids containing an emerging contaminant as fertilizer.  PFAS substances originate from local fire suppression system manufacturer Tyco Fire Protection Products/Johnson Controls.

Around the World

Labor Stops Short of Promising PFAS Compensation for Red Zone Residents in Lead Up to Federal Election
An Australian Member of Parliament said buybacks and compensation were the “only end game” for residents trapped in in a town with PFAS contamination from a local air base.

Families With A Higher Socioeconomic Position Have A Greater Risk Of Exposure To Chemicals
A higher socioeconomic position is associated to greater exposure to several environmental chemical contaminants -such as PFAS, during pregnancy and childhood. This is the conclusion reached by a new European study carried out by the Barcelona Institute of Global Heath (ISGlobal).