Perfluorochemical exposure linked to drinking water | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 94 Issue 25 | p. 15 | Concentrates
Issue Date: June 20, 2016

Perfluorochemical exposure linked to drinking water

Department: Government & Policy
Keywords: public health, PFOA, PFOS, perfluorinated chemicals

Drinking water is an important source of human exposure to perfluorinated compounds, according to research by the Cancer Prevention Institute of California, the California Environmental Protection Agency, and others (Environ. Sci. Technol. Lett. 2016, DOI: 10.1021/acs.estlett.6b00154). The authors say the study is the first to show an association between data from federal monitoring of contaminants in drinking water and data from state blood sampling. The researchers found a link between elevated concentrations of perfluoro­octanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluoro­octane sulfonate (PFOS) in blood serum and detectable levels in water. The U.S. EPA in May established a lifetime health advisory for PFOA and PFOS to reduce chronic exposures to the contaminants in drinking water. For decades, chemical manufacturers used PFOS and PFOA in the production of nonstick goods, including those branded as 3M’s Scotchgard and DuPont’s Teflon. Although uncertainty remains about routes of exposure for the general population, the persistent perfluorochemicals have been found in water supplies and linked to disease in communities near former production facilities, say the authors, who call for more studies.

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