US EPA Announces new PFAS health advisories

Assistant administrator Radhika Fox announces health advisories for PFAS, dramatically lowering lifetime exposure limits

WILMINGTON, NC (News Release) –The 3rd National PFAS Conference kicked off in Wilmington, North Carolina today with some exciting news.

Radhika Fox, speaking to a diverse group of scientists, community advocates, government officials, journalists, attorneys, and grassroots community groups, announced new health advisories for four PFAS compounds: PFOA, PFOS, PFBS, and GenX.

All four compounds, in addition to numerous others, have been found in the Cape Fear River, which serves as the primary drinking water source for residents of Wilmington, NC and surrounding area.

This announcement follows the recent five-year anniversary of the public discovery of GenX in the Cape Fear River, leading to many of the advancements presented during the conference.

Based on new scientific data, the EPA issued an interim health advisory level of 0.004 parts per trillion (ppt) for PFOA and 0.02 ppt for PFOS.

Additionally, the EPA set a final health advisory level for GenX of 10 ppt and PFBS was set to 2,000 ppt.

These advisories are considered the safest level for a chemical to be in our tap water where no adverse health effects will be seen over a lifetime.

Per the EWG “more than 200 million Americans are drinking water contaminated with PFAS.”

These new advisories implicate the vast majority of national public drinking utilities and a significant number of private wells in exceeding “safe” limits. 

Assistant Administrator Fox stressed the consistency of scientific data linking PFAS exposure to significant health concerns such as reduced kidney, liver, and immune function, increased developmental and birth defects, and multiple cancers.

The science is clear and the EPA is leading the way in firmly positioning human health before the bottom line of corporations. 

Thursday, the conference will focus on long-term health impacts of PFAS exposures including cancer risks, as well as discussing concerns related to fertility, maternal, infant and child health outcomes.

Afternoon discussions will look at PFAS exposures beyond contaminated drinking water like contaminated food supplies, occupational exposures, and residential exposure risks.  

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