PFAS Update XXXI: News You Can Use on PFAS and Emerging Contaminants

PFAS Update XXXI: Interest and Action on PFAS and Emerging Contaminants Continue to Flood the News

This issue of the SGS PFAS Update travels to more than one-third of the United States, 16 states to be exact, where legislation is being written and enforced, lawsuits are being advanced, research is being conducted and people are concerned about the health effects of “forever chemicals”.  On the national scene, there is activity by the Biden administration including establishing the EPA Council on PFAS.  We’re also far away in the Himalayas, where sadly, PFAS is being detected on Mt. Everest caused by refuse left by climbers and in Australia where it was found in seals.  For environmental professionals like you, the following is your most efficient way to stay informed about breaking news that only seems to be intensifying.

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U.S. and Around the World  

Flurry of PFAS Actions in the First 100 Days of The Biden Administration: The Highlights
The first 100 days of the Biden Administration saw a flurry of activities at the federal level seeking to address PFAS.

New Database Amasses Toxicity Studies on PFAS
A first-of-its-kind database assembles hundreds of toxicology studies on 29 PFAS substances. The database is aimed at assisting communities exposed to PFAS contamination and helping policy makers access scientific literature on these substances,

Why Are There Harmful Chemicals on Mount Everest?
There are few pristine places left in the world and, according to a new study, Mount Everest isn’t one of them. In 2021, landmark research showed accumulation of “forever chemicals” at the Third Pole for the first time. In addition to human refuse, used oxygen bottles, and plastic waste, we now know that climbers are also leaving behind cancer-causing compounds.

Firefighting Chemical Found in Sea Lion and Fur Seal Pups
A chemical that the NSW government has recently partially banned in firefighting has been found in the pups of endangered Australian sea lions and in Australian fur seals.

San Jose Firefighters Allege Gear Gave Them Cancer
When firefighter Teresa Mauldin was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2013, she attributed it to the dangers of the job. But Mauldin and more than four dozen San Jose firefighters now attribute the danger to the equipment they used and wore every day.

‘Forever Chemicals’ Levels in Frisco Drinking Water Would Be Illegal in Three Other States
CBS4 Investigates analysis of public testing data has found levels of PFAS in Frisco’s drinking water would be considered too high in Vermont, Massachusetts, and New York. The levels would also trigger further testing requirements in Michigan.

New Research Could Paint Fuller Picture of PFAS Presence in Delaware
Mi-Ling Li, an assistant professor of environmental chemistry and toxicology at UD, presented preliminary findings of her team’s research at a meeting hosted by the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays Friday. Li said the current priority is to establish a baseline of PFAS contamination in and around the bay.

Three Private Wells Near Whiting Field Test Positive for Toxic PFAS Chemicals
At least three homes with private water wells near Naval Air Station Whiting Field tested positive last month for a man-made chemical used by the Navy and others that health experts now warn could cause serious adverse health effects, including cancer, immune issues and damage to fetuses and newborn babies.

Over 100 Georgia Water Treatment Plants Being Tested for Cancer Causing Chemical
ROME, Ga. — Scientists are currently testing more than 100 water treatment plants in north Georgia for a group of chemicals linked to cancer and other serious illnesses. It’s part of a massive water monitoring program initiated earlier this year by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division targeting PFAS.

New Study Finds PFAS  in Breast Milk
A new study finding PFAS in one hundred percent of breast milk samples tested was published in Environmental Science & Technology.

What You Need to Know About ‘Forever Chemicals’ in Maine’s Soil
PFAS “forever chemicals” have been found in high levels in wells and farms across Maine. This class of chemicals, which has been linked to a number of chronic illnesses, has entered the Maine food system.

Did You Live in Hyannis After 2006? PFAS Researchers Need Your Help
The Silent Spring Institute o is leading two studies designed to explore the health consequences of consuming PFAS-tainted water, and researchers are in desperate need of volunteers to participate.

Testing Public Water Systems for PFAS
A new state program will offer grant funding to help public water systems address elevated levels PFAS in their drinking water.

Natick May Spend $3M To Reduce PFAS In Town Water
Natick Town Meeting will soon take up a proposal to spend $3 million to reduce PFAS contamination at one of the town’s main water treatment plants.

3M Sues Michigan, Seeks to Invalidate PFAS Drinking Water Rules
Minnesota chemical manufacturing giant 3M has sued the state of Michigan, claiming the state’s new drinking water limits for the toxic “forever chemicals” known as PFAS are flawed because they were created through a “rushed and invalid regulatory process.”

$11.9M Settlement Reached in Lawsuit After Parchment Drinking Water Found With Dangerous PFAS Levels
A $11.9 million settlement has been reached in the lawsuit filed by local residents after PFAS contamination impacted municipal drinking water in Parchment.

New Mexico
PFAS Found in Texico Wells
SANTA FE — The New Mexico Environment Department has informed the village of Texico it has identified the forever chemicals of PFAS in one of its water system wells.

New York
New Windsor Sues to Recoup Millions Spent to Clean and Supplement Contaminated Water
The town of New Windsor filed a federal lawsuit this week to try to recover millions of dollars it spent after a chemical used in firefighting foam at nearby Stewart International Airport and Stewart Air National Guard Base contaminated the town’s drinking water.

North Carolina
House OKs Limits on Firefighting Foam with PFAS
RALEIGH — Legislation to tighten requirements on the use of firefighting foam with PFAS, including a statewide ban on its use in training, passed the North Carolina House last week in a 112-0 vote.

‘Canary in a Coal Mine’: Scientists Test Alligators for PFAS Chemical Compounds
In new studies on wildlife, researchers have found evidence that exposure to PFAS, could harm an animal’s immune system.

Dayton Sues Air Base, Defense Department for Water Pollution
The city of Dayton has sued the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the U.S. Department of Defense for failing to stop water contaminants from entering a source of the city’s drinking water.

‘Forever Chemicals’ Detected in at Least a Dozen Private Wells in Montgomery County
So-called “forever chemicals” have been detected in at least a dozen private drinking water wells in the communities near the Aullwood Audubon Farm Discovery Center since the chemicals were discovered in the facility’s water system last fall.

Delaware County Sues Chemical Makers Over PFAS Contamination at Three Fire Facilities
The Delaware County District Attorney’s Office has filed a civil complaint against dozens of chemical manufacturers for what it says is the companies’ role in contaminating local fire facilities with PFAS, known as “forever chemicals,” with some levels thousands of times in excess of federal guidelines.

PFAS Bill Would Let Exposed People Sue For Health Monitoring
U.S. Rep. Madeleine Dean, whose district covers much of Montgomery County, was among lawmakers Thursday who introduced bills that would let people exposed to toxic PFAS chemicals sue their manufacturers.

PFAS Chemical Levels in Burlington Water are Above New State Standards
As the result of a new state drinking water standard, the town of Burlington has completed testing for a family of chemical compounds known as PFAS. The results indicate the presence of PFAS in a concentration above the new standard, and the town is taking immediate action to address these results.

PFAS Legislation in Vermont Some of Most Aggressive In US
On May 5, 2021, Vermont entered the final stages of enacting one of the most aggressive pieces of legislation related to PFAS in the country.

Nearly 800 Residents Plan to Sue La Crosse Regarding PFAS
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Nearly 800 residents of French Island plan to sue the city of La Crosse stemming from contamination of private drinking water wells from PFAS, a move that could expose the city to up to more than $39 million in claims.

City Says PFAS can be Burned, if Found in Sewer System
The PFAS chemicals being detected in French Island wells are often called “forever chemicals,” but maybe they don’t last forever.