US EPA Data on PFAS Released
US EPA is making available new testing data related to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) found in fluorinated containers in which a mosquito control product was packaged and sold. The agency is also announcing its planned next steps to further characterize and address this potential source of contamination. If containers are left or stored outside, any containers made of, or containing, PFAS could potentially leach the contaminants into the groundwater.
Since first becoming aware of the PFAS contamination issue in September 2020 through citizen science testing of a pesticide product, US EPA has been working to investigate the source of the contamination. In January 2021, testing showed the PFAS were most likely formed from a chemical reaction during the container fluorination process, which leached into the pesticide product. After completing a quality assurance and quality control process, the agency confirmed it has detected eight different PFAS from the fluorinated HDPE (fluorinated high-density polyethylene) containers — with levels ranging from 20-50 parts per billion.
While the US EPA is early in its investigation, the agency will use all available regulatory and non-regulatory tools to determine the scope of this emerging issue and its potential impact on human health and the environment. It is important to note that although these types of products should not be a source of PFAS, the data indicates the amount of PFAS that has entered the environment from the contamination in the containers the agency tested is extremely small. Click here to view the data and learn more.
NGWA has long been an industry leader in providing PFAS research, education and resources to the public and scientific communities. In 2017, NGWA published Groundwater and PFAS: State of Knowledge and Practice, which was one of the first PFAS guidance documents to be released. It can be found at NGWA.org/PFAS, which is a complete resource center about the groundwater contaminants featuring a FAQs document, a top-10 facts sheet, a homeowner checklist and more. As in previous years, NGWA is once again hosting an event on the topic — the Fate of PFAS: From Groundwater to Tap Water virtual conference will take place June 22-23.
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