PFAS Update XXI: News on PFAS and Emerging Contaminants from Maine to Washington, And In-between

As SGS joins the rest of the globe in navigating the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and providing services related to both cleaning verification for buildings and ships, and indoor air testing for the virus, the health and safety of our clients, staff, families and communities is always our top priority. As we offer you news on PFAS and emerging contaminants, we wish you and yours the best of health.

Before you catch up on the latest news from around the U.S on PFAS and emerging contaminants, here’s some great breaking news: SGS Orlando is the FIRST laboratory to obtain DoD ELAP accreditation for EPA 533, a solid phase extraction (SPE) liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method for the determination of select per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water. We’ll be providing you more information soon.

This PFAS Update covers so much ground it’s hard to know where to start. The U.S. section is highlighted by both new science (for example, a scientific basis for managing as one chemical class the thousands of chemicals known as PFAS) and proposed updates to legislation (Toxics in Packaging Model Legislation). Then we report on news in 14 states from Maine to Washington, and new to the list, Wyoming, with lawsuits, new contaminant discoveries, and more.

SGS is your one stop for the capacity, expertise, facilities and track record needed to provide fast and accurate analysis on PFAS and emerging contaminants analysis. We’re always here to help.

Click on SGS PFAS/emerging contaminants analysis capabilities, and see why SGS delivers what you need every step of way.

Better Together: Integrating New Capabilities

SGS offers the full complement of environmental, health and safety analytical services at multiple laboratories across the United States and Canada for soil, water, air, and bulk materials. SGS is your one-stop for all your environmental analytical needs.

To find out how we can best help you with your PFAS analysis, call +1 800 329 0204 or email We look forward to hearing from you soon.


Scientific Basis for Managing PFAS as a Chemical Class
This commentary weighs is in on an important debate: The scientific basis for managing as one chemical class the thousands of chemicals known as PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances). The class includes perfluoroalkyl acids, perfluoroalkylether acids, and their precursors; fluoropolymers and perfluoropolyethers; and other PFAS.

Protective Gear Could Expose Firefighters to PFAS
Firefighters face dangers beyond the blaze itself. Their work subjects them to carcinogens from burning materials, as well as toxic PFAS from flame-suppressing foams. A new study finds that firefighters can also be exposed to PFAS over time through another source: their protective clothing.

Plant Uptake of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances at a Contaminated Fire Training Facility to Evaluate the Phytoremediation Potential of Various Plant Species
Fire training facilities and other areas suffer from serious per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) contamination in soil, surface water, and groundwater due to regular practices with PFAS-containing aqueous firefighting foams (AFFFs). Therefore, the uptake of 26 PFASs in plants and the contamination of soil and groundwater has been investigated at a fire training site at Stockholm Arlanda airport, Stockholm (Sweden) in 2016.

Chemicals Can’t Survive Surprising Catalyst Chemicals
We haven’t yet tested this at a full scale, but in our benchtop tests in the lab, we could get rid of 99% of PFOA in four hours,” Wong says of boron nitride, the light-activated catalyst he and his students stumbled upon and spent more than a year testing.

Proposed Update to Toxics in Packaging Legislation Includes PFAS and Phthalates
Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse (TPCH) has issued a draft update to its Toxics in Packaging Model Legislation that includes the addition of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and phthalates as regulated chemicals.

Colorado Water Officials Create First-Ever Regulations for ‘Forever Chemical’ PFAS
Colorado has its first policy to regulate so-called “forever chemicals.” The state’s Water Quality Control Commission voted unanimously to enact a policy to put new limits on PFAS.

Groups Pushing to Extend Timeline for Lawsuits Over PFAS Chemical Pollution
Health and environmental advocates say the discovery of record-high levels of a “forever chemical” on a Maine dairy farm highlights the need for legal changes to ensure property owners can hold polluters accountable.

Carcinogenic Chemicals Found in Nantucket Well Water
NANTUCKET — The flame-retardant firefighting foam Noah Karberg has seen sprayed in test exercises at Nantucket Memorial Airport has grown into one of the airport’s biggest concerns. The foam contains potentially cancer-causing contaminants called polyfluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS.

New PFAS Rules Set to Take Effect Aug. 3, Among Nation’s Strictest
Starting Aug. 3, Michigan will have some of the strictest rules in the nation limiting chemical contaminants in drinking water supplies. Rules governing the presence of seven PFAS chemicals in drinking water will be filed with the Secretary of State’s Office in the coming days after passing through the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules.

PFAS Task Force Secures $200M to Clean Up Chemicals at Former Military Bases
FLINT, Mich. – The PFAS Task Force has announced that $200 million has been secured to help to clean up harmful per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) at former military bases such as former Wurtsmith Air Force Base in Oscoda.

Health Officials: Avoid Foam on Michigan Lakes, Rivers with PFAS Contamination
LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is warning Michigan residents to avoid foam on Michigan lakes and rivers that have per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the water.

Cherry Capital Airport Receives Nearly $250k for PFAS Testing
TRAVERSE CITY — Cherry Capital Airport received a nearly $250,000 grant for PFAS testing.

Marquette County Board Approves Study to Find How to Dispose Of 1.2 Million Gallons of PFAS Contaminated Biosolids
MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) – Tuesday night the Marquette County Board took steps to address the issue of PFAS chemicals at the K.I. Sawyer Wastewater Treatment Plant. There are currently two storage tanks holding a total of 1.2 million gallons of biosolids contaminated with PFAS.

New Hampshire
Does PFAS exposure add to COVID-19 risk? Shaheen, senators push to find out
U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen is asking if COVID-19 poses “any unique risks” to people who have previously been exposed to PFAS chemicals.

NH House Passes Tough Drinking Water Standards
The New Hampshire House passed a bill Tuesday that would put into law some of country’s toughest drinking water standards for a group of toxic chemicals and provides tens of millions of dollars to help communities in the state meet the rules.

New Jersey
New Contamination at An Infamous NJ Chemical Plant has Scientists Worried
Along the Delaware River in South Jersey, where heavy industry has long contributed to polluted water, air and ground, scientists have raised the alarm over a new contamination.

New York
Riverkeeper, Newburgh Clean Water Project Push for More Aggressive Cleanup at Stewart Air National Guard Base
NEWBURGH, N.Y. — Riverkeeper and Newburgh Clean Water Project are calling on the Air National Guard to commit to an aggressive schedule to clean up PFAS pollution at Stewart Air National Guard Base as a new agreement is negotiated with the state that they say will influence the next two years of remediation.

Manhasset-Lakeville Water District Seeks $42M Bond from Town
In a virtual board meeting on June 30, the Manhasset-Lakeville Water District discussed five capital improvement projects, which will total nearly $43 million. These projects will “enable the Water District to meet existing and anticipated water supply demands as well as proposed water quality standards for emerging contaminants 1,4-Dioxane, PFOA and PFOS,” stated documents provided by the district.

Greene to Join Fight Against PFAS
CATSKILL — Greene County lawmakers Wednesday night approved a retainer agreement with a Long Island-based law firm in a lawsuit against the manufacturers of chemicals used at the county’s firefighting training center in Cairo, which are present in the municipal drinking water.

North Carolina
New Research Confirms Presence of Toxic “Forever Chemicals” in Scores of NC Water Supplies
Raw water supplies for at least 150 public utilities in North Carolina contained some level of toxic PFAS, underscoring the call of many scientists this week to regulate the thousands of perfluorinated compounds as a class.

Greensboro Dioxane Settlement Looms to Environment’s Distress
GREENSBORO  City water officials have reached a proposed settlement of regulatory charges stemming from a large release of contaminated sewage last year from the T.Z. Osborne Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Ohio EPA Resumes Tests for So-called ‘Forever Chemicals’
Representatives from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency have resumed collecting samples from the state’s more than 1,500 public water systems to test for PFAS contamination.

Bridgeport Water Unsafe to Drink, City Providing Clean Water in Meantime
BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF)- Bridgeport drinking water has been deemed unsafe to use by the Ohio EPA after chemical tests results have come back above Action Level. It is still unknown how the chemical got into the system or how long it has been there. PFAS, the chemical found in the water, is acceptable to bathe and wash your hands with. Specifically, C-9 PFNA is what registered above Action Level. The Superintendent tells me some residents will continue to consume the water but it is not suggested.

PFAS Testing Planned for 1300 Adults, Children in Bucks, Montgomery Counties
Starting this fall, Pennsylvania and federal health officials hope to recruit 1,000 adults and 300 children in Bucks and Montgomery Counties for a national study on the impacts of PFAS chemicals on thyroids, cholesterol levels, kidneys, immune systems, livers, and even behavioral problems.

Cancer-Causing Chemicals Found in Fort Worth Well. They Could be in City Water Too.
After years of using chemical-laden foam to put out fires on Fort Worth’s Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base, the Navy has found that at least one nearby private drinking water well has been contaminated with cancer-causing chemicals.

Lakewood Water Company Sues Defense Department for Costs Related to Contamination
Lakewood Water District is suing the U.S. government, including the Department of Defense, the Air Force and the Army as well as 13 manufacturers, including 3M and DuPont, of firefighting foam used on Joint Base Lewis-McChord that leaked into the groundwater supply.

DNR Presents Updated PFAS Data
MARINETTE — Several representatives from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources presented updated data on the PFAS contamination in the Marinette and Peshtigo areas, as well as recent correspondents with JCI/Tyco, the “responsible party” for the contamination.

Airport Readies PFAS Pollution Response
Jackson Hole Airport is ordering tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of drinking water filters for neighboring residents in response to perfluoroalkyl substances that have leached into the groundwater, potentially threatening drinking water.