PFAS Update XXIII: All New Stories on PFAS and Emerging Contaminants

PFAS Update XXIII: PFAS and Emerging Contaminants Tied to Disease, Found in Fish, Cosmetics and More

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.

PFAS can increase risk of diabetes and celiac disease. People are exposed to PFAS through food. PFAS may be present in some cosmetics. Fish may contain PFAS in concentrations much greater than in groundwater.

You can read about all the above, below, and other stories about PFAS and other emerging contaminants. The indication is clear: There is no deceleration of interest and activity on a local, national and global level when it comes to these issues. In this SGS PFAS Update XXIII, national stories and those from 18 states share new research, disclosures of new contamination, legal activity and more.

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U.S. and Global
New Approach Can Improve Monitoring of Contaminants in Groundwater
A large international collaboration which included ANSTO has found that a combination of isotopic and conventional techniques can distinguish between multiple sources of contaminants impacting groundwater in complex environments.

Highly Fluorinated Chemicals Can Increase Risk for Diabetes and Celiac Disease in Children
Researchers in biomedicine have published two studies on the connection between highly fluorinated chemicals, PFAS and two diseases in children: type 1 diabetes and celiac disease. Both are autoimmune diseases, which arise from an abnormal immune response to the body’s healthy cells or tissues.

PFAS in Food: EFSA Assesses Risks and Sets Tolerable Intake
EFSA has set a new safety threshold for PFAS that accumulate in the body. The threshold – a group tolerable weekly intake (TWI) of 4.4 nanograms per kilogram of body weight per week – is part of a scientific opinion on the risks to human health arising from the presence of these substances in food.

Alabama Utility Drops 3M Lawsuit Over Chemical Contamination
The Guin Water Works and Sewer Board is withdrawing a lawsuit it filed earlier this month against chemical giant 3M over man-made chemicals detected in the creek that supplies its drinking water.

Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Sampling Guidelines for Non-Drinking Water
The California State Water Board recently updated their PFAS Sampling Guidelines for Non-Drinking Water matrices. This guide provides recommended standard operating procedures for PFAS sampling.  This guide also includes new information about matrix-specific sampling considerations.  Throughout the guide, the State Water Board identifies how the laboratory representative should be consulted before sampling to develop the sampling strategy.

Tri-Valley Water Districts Tackle Toxic Chemicals In Drinking Water Wells
PLEASANTON (KPIX) – At least 500 drinking water wells that serve up to 9 million Californians have potentially dangerous levels of a highly toxic family of chemicals and some of the worst are right here in the Bay Area.

PFAS Ban Included In California Cosmetics Bill
On August 30, 2020, the California legislature passed Assembly Bill 2762, the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act. The bill would ban 12 chemicals, including PFAS, mercury, and endocrine disruptors, from cosmetics and other personal care products made in or sold to the state of California.

Colorado Testing Fish in New Push To Prevent Health Harm From Toxic “Forever Chemicals”
Fish can accumulate PFAS at concentrations up to 10,000 times higher than the already-elevated levels in groundwater connected to the ponds and creek, state officials said, and people eating toxic fish could face health harm ranging from autoimmune ailments to testicular cancer.

PFAS-Stricken Town Among Six New EPA Superfund Priority Sites
The EPA announced Tuesday that it’s elevating six contaminated sites to its Superfund priority list, including a Delaware town that has struggled with groundwater contamination from PFAS chemicals.

Deep Dive: A Look at Boise’s Proposal for the Future of Waste Water
Boise’s water renewal system could soon move into the future. Boise City Council and the public got its first glimpse into the city’s water renewal utility plan for the next two decades.

EPA Testing for Per-/Polyfluoroalkyl in Drinking Water
SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Director John J. Kim announced plans to conduct a statewide investigation into the prevalence and occurrence of PFAS in finished drinking water at all 1,749 community water supplies in Illinois

EPA Awards $1.6M for IU Research on Synthetic Chemical Exposure in Rural Drinking Water
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded Indiana University funding to further understand exposure risks of rural communities to per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS, through their drinking water.

Navy to Test Wells Near Cutler for Toxic PFAS Chemicals
The Navy is seeking to sample private drinking water wells in a designated sampling area near the Naval Support Activity (NSA) Cutler Fire Station, Cutler, Maine. These free tests are to determine whether certain chemicals (commonly and collectively referred to as PFAS) used by the Navy in its activities at NSA Cutler Fire Station may have migrated through groundwater to private drinking water wells at levels greater than U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) health advisory levels.

Emmet County Awaiting Go-ahead to Test Airport for PFAS
PELLSTON — Emmet County officials say they are poised to begin their investigation into possible contaminants at the Pellston Regional Airport, once they receive the go-ahead from state oversight agencies.

Registration Open for Great Lakes Virtual PFAS Summit in October
The Great Lakes PFAS Summit has been moved to a virtual, week-long event to be held October 26-30, 2020. The goals of this conference are to provide the most current and reliable science and policy, facilitate networking and information sharing, and explore current and future research topics related PFAS.

Former Eaton Rapids Landfill Investigated for Potential Water Contamination
Levels of PFAS contamination nearly eight times above the groundwater limit in Michigan has prompted an investigation into possible drinking water contamination around the former Eaton Rapids landfill.

PFAS Found at Atlanta Landfill
LOUD TOWNSHIP — Last year, the Montmorency-Oscoda-Alpena Solid Waste Authority volunteered to test its landfill near Atlanta for PFAS. After its first round of testing, the landfill ended up on the state’s list of PFAS-contaminated sites under investigation for groundwater contamination. There is little risk to drinking water in the area, officials say.

$700 Million Plan Unveiled to Deal With ‘Forever Chemicals’ in East Metro Drinking Water
Residents in the Twin Cities’ east metro area enduring toxic “forever chemicals” polluting their water could eventually get access to municipal water supplies, high-tech filters or even new water treatment plants.

New Hampshire
Saint-Gobain Must Meet New Hampshire Deadline for PFAS Controls
New Hampshire won’t give Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp. an additional year to install controls for its PFAS air emissions in Merrimack, the state announced Friday.

Judge Rules for NH in 3M’s Bid to Block PFAS Protections
A Merrimack County judge has vacated a preliminary injunction previously granted to chemical company giant 3M, which sought to block the implementation of more protective PFAS standards.

New Jersey
EPA Cancels Study to Incinerate Waste Near NJ Fenceline Community
The Environmental Protection Agency canceled a study to look into the incineration of the fluorinated chemicals known as PFAS. The study would have burned toxic PFAS and measured the amount released into the air at the Union County Resource Recovery Facility on the Rahway River in New Jersey.

New Mexico
State Settles Pollution Case with Cannon Air Force Base
The U.S. Air Force has agreed to pay a $251,000 fine to the state for failing to monitor cancer-causing pollution from its base near Clovis and letting that facility’s wastewater permit expire last year.

North Carolina
EPA Study on GenX Expected This Winter
FAYETTEVILLE — The administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday told a roundtable gathering of elected officials a study on the effects of GenX should be released this winter…“One of my biggest areas of concern is the toxicity of GenX,” said state Rep. John Szoka. “We need answers as to how toxic GenX is, and what it does to people, and what does it do to livestock and crops.

NC Getting Tougher on PFAS Polluters, But Researchers Say More Action is Needed
North Carolina is getting tougher on industries that pollute the state’s air and waterways with potentially carcinogenic PFAS or “forever chemicals.”

LHU Receives Grant to Study Environmental Contaminants
Lock Haven University is one of three schools sharing a $1.43 million research grant to study PFAS, an emerging contaminant of concern in Pennsylvania waterways. The project is funded through the Department of Defense Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP).

Leicester School has High PFAS Levels
A routine test of drinking water at Leicester Central School (LCS) revealed PFAS levels of more than three times the acceptable limit set by the state.

Feds Release Health Results Of People Who Drank Airway Heights Water
The federal government has released results of health tests it conducted on people who drank water pulled from wells in Airway Heights before 2017. The wells contained a chemical used in foam that was used to fight fires at Fairchild.

New Restrictions On PFAS-Containing Firefighting Foams Effective Sept. 1
019 Wisconsin Act 101, published on Feb. 6, 2020 and codified in Wisconsin Statutes section 299.48, implements measures that mitigate the discharge of PFAS-containing firefighting foam into the environment, and in doing so supports efforts by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and fire departments to protect the health and safety of Wisconsin residents and the firefighting community.

Elevated PFAS Levels Found in Ditch Downstream of Johnson Controls, Tyco in Marinette
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) received analytical sample results from surface water monitoring conducted in July by Johnson Controls, Inc. (JCI) and its subsidiary Tyco Fire Products, LP (Tyco) associated with the ongoing PFAS investigation at their Fire Technology Center in Marinette.