Lead in Drinking Water

Lead in Drinking Water:

Should You Be Worried?

1 Old drinking water distribution systems may present lead exposure health

2. Governmental drinking water regulations are being lowered to reduce the
health risk.

3. What actions you need to take to lower your risk of lead exposure


BBC Mundo | El “preocupante” hallazgo de partículas de plástico en botellas de agua de 11 marcas diferentes

BBC Mundo | El “preocupante” hallazgo de partículas de plástico en botellas de agua de 11 marcas diferentes – http://www.bbc.com/mundo/noticias-43411826?ocid=wsmundo.chat-apps.in-app-msg.whatsapp.trial.link1_.auin

Flint crisis prompts lead pipe report to be revised

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Flint crisis prompts lead pipe report to be revised

November 7, 2016

MANCHESTER, UK: A landmark paper on lead pipe rehabilitation and replacement techniques published by the American Water Works Association (AWWA) 15 years ago has been revisited by a member of the original project advisory committee.

In 2001 AWWA published Lead Pipe Rehabilitation and Replacement Techniques, which was based on a portfolio of research and technology projects undertaken in the UK by North West Water (now United Utilities). Since its publication there have been significant changes to global and national regulatory limits for lead in drinking water as scientists have become better informed about the risk posed to public health, especially in young children’s brain development.

The issue has risen swiftly up the news agenda in recent months following revelations of exposure to lead in drinking water by people living in the US city of Flint, Michigan. Nick Preston, a member of the Project Advisory Committee for the original AWWA report and an expert on lead pipe replacement techniques, has authored an update, commissioned by pipeline infrastructure specialist Aquam.

Renewed interest Nick Preston says, “Quite rightly there is a renewed interest in the risks posed by lead in drinking water. Importantly for utilities wanting and needing to take action, there has also been significant development and commercialisation of viable technologies for pipeline rehabilitation, which have yet to be widely adopted by utilities and their supply chain contractors.”

Happily no city in the UK is facing a drinking water crisis. According to the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI), in 2014, there were just 84 failures at the tighter standard (10µg/l) introduced in 2015 in England, with 70 of these confirmed as being due to customer-owned pipes and plumbing in older housing. However there are an estimated 10 million homes across 22 utilities which are connected to the mains network by lead supply pipes.

Rule revision
In the US, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Water has committed to issue a proposed lead and copper rule in 2017, reflecting national issues brought to light by the crisis in Flint, including a reassessment of the sampling regime and lead service line replacement requirements.

Preston says, “Since these early research projects took place, patents on many technologies for lining and replacing lead service and communication pipes have expired. However, the selection of lowest whole-life-cost solutions, that meet customer need, remains the objective.

“Utilities, along with owners and occupiers of public buildings recognise their Duty of Care towards their users. They should also be made aware of highly efficient and effective techniques to reduce lead exposure.”

Method selection
He advises, “The AWWA method selection table shown in this paper has been updated to incorporate the latest technological developments and provides a basis from which those concerned can approach their supply chain or specialist advisors to determine the least cost alternatives available to them.”

Richard Coffey, managing director of Aquam said, “This is a very worrying time for people in Flint, Michigan and other cities affected by the risks posed by lead in drinking water. It is important that those tasked with making supplies safe have access to the full range of options available to them so that any issues can be resolved as quickly as possible.

“It is often assumed that lead pipes have to be ripped out and replaced, but this is no longer the case. Advanced technologies like Aquam’s Nu Line and Serline systems offer a safer, lower cost alternative that minimise disruption to the customer.”

The original paper can be viewed here. The white paper, Lead Pipe Rehabilitation and Replacement Techniques – an update, can be downloaded at


EPA Set to Resume Cleanup at USS Lead Superfund Site in East Chicago, Ind.

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EPA Set to Resume Cleanup at USS Lead Superfund Site in East Chicago, Ind.

March 20, 2017

Settlement with potentially responsible parties provides $16 million more for cleanup

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is preparing to resume cleanup work in zones 2 and 3 of the USS Lead Superfund site in East Chicago in April. EPA has reached an agreement with several potentially responsible parties to fund part of this work valued at an estimated $16 million — in addition to the $26 million already secured for work under a 2014 consent decree.

“Governor Holcomb and I agree that protecting the well-being of the people who live on the USS Lead Superfund site is crucial,” said Scott Pruitt, EPA Administrator. “EPA is accelerating the cleanup to keep residents safe in their homes and neighborhoods.”

“The health and well-being of Hoosier families is fundamental to our prosperity as a state,” Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb said. “I am thrilled to be working with Administrator Pruitt and his team, along with local leaders and stakeholders, on efforts at the USS Superfund Site in East Chicago. When local, state, and federal partners collaborate, resources can be directed to have the greatest benefit for communities facing these challenges.”

Additionally, EPA is pleased Governor Holcomb has announced plans to continue blood lead testing for children, assist with water infrastructure replacement and provide resources to families relocating from the West Calumet Housing Complex. EPA looks forward to partnering with Indiana to assist with these actions as needed.

In zone 2 this year, EPA plans to remove contaminated soil at an estimated 72 priority properties. These properties were prioritized due to high concentrations of lead or arsenic, or because pregnant women or children who live there are more sensitive to risks from exposure. EPA will test inside each home and conduct thorough cleanings as needed.
In zone 3 this year, EPA plans to clean up the yards at an estimated 120 properties. EPA will also test inside each home and conduct thorough cleanings as needed.

EPA’s work in zone 1 is currently on hold while the Agency waits for the city’s determination of the future use of the property.
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EPA Finalizes $14 Million Cleanup Plan to address Lead and Arsenic at Route 561 Dump Site in Gibbsboro, N.J.Read More


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EPA Finalizes $14 Million Cleanup Plan to address Lead and Arsenic at Route 561 Dump site in Gibbsboro, N.J.

September 26, 2016

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has finalized its $14 million plan to clean up contaminated soil and sediment at the Route 561 Dump site in Gibbsboro, N.J. The site is an area near a former paint manufacturing plant and was used as a paint waste dump. The Route 561 Dump site includes businesses, a vacant lot, a small creek called White Sand Branch and wetlands. The soil and sediment at the Route 561 Dump site are contaminated with lead and arsenic.

Lead is a neurotoxin and increasing amounts build up in the body. Even at low levels, lead in children can lower I.Q.s, cause learning disabilities, damage hearing, reduce attention spans, cause hyperactivity and other behavior problems. Arsenic is toxic and can also damage people’s health and can cause cancer.

“Lead is a toxic metal that can impact a child’s ability to learn and cause a range of other serious health problems,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck. “EPA’s final plan is an important step forward in our comprehensive strategy to cleanup this complex site and protect people’s health and the environment.”

The final Route 561 Dump site soil cleanup plan builds on the previous work conducted at the site. This plan will be followed by future cleanup plans to address other areas of the site, including groundwater. Under the plan, the EPA will remove contaminated soil from portions of the site and backfill the excavated area with clean soil. The contaminated soil will be taken off site and properly disposed of at facilities licensed to handle the waste. In total, approximately 23,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil will be removed. A cap, consisting of soil cover in vegetated areas or asphalt on portions of commercial properties, will be installed in parts of the site. The EPA will coordinate with the property owners or occupants to ensure that the work is done with minimal disruption. The EPA will monitor the air near the work areas.

EPA is requiring that restrictions be placed on how the land may be used in order to limit people’s exposure to the contaminated soil. The EPA will conduct a review every five years to ensure the effectiveness of the cleanup.

The Route 561 Dump site, and the Sherwin-Williams/Hilliard’s Creek site, and the United States Avenue Burn Superfund site are sources of contaminated soil and sediment, which has spread onto a number of residential properties within Gibbsboro and Voorhees. Under previous orders by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the EPA, Sherwin-Williams has removed 8,096 cubic yards of sludge from a former lagoon area, removed 44,785 gallons of liquid waste, installed a soil vapor extraction treatment system to reduce the volatile organic compounds in the soil near two former plant buildings, installed fencing to limit access to some source areas and taken other steps to address the pollution. A soil cleanup on residential properties is underway.
The Superfund program operates on the principle that polluters should pay for the cleanups, rather than passing the costs to taxpayers. The EPA searches for parties legally responsible for the contamination at sites that are placed on the Superfund list and it seeks to hold those parties accountable for the costs of investigations and cleanups. EPA expects that the cleanup of the Route 561 Dump site will be conducted and paid for by Sherwin-Williams. The cost of this cleanup is approximately $14 million.

The EPA held a public meeting in Gibbsboro on June 21, 2016 to explain the proposed plan. The EPA accepted public comments for 60 days and considered public input before finalizing the plan.

To view the final cleanup plan, please





How much are your toxic employees costing you?

How much are your toxic employees costing you?

A lot’s been written about how much a bad hire (one you terminate and replace quickly) costs companies. But a group of researchers has taken that concept a bit further — examining how much letting a toxic employee stick around costs employers. 

The answer? The estimated savings from firing (or avoiding the hire of) a toxic employee is $12,489. And that figure only factors in the person’s “induced turnover” cost — or the expense of replacing additional workers lost as a result of having the toxic worker on their team.

For the purposes of this new research, a “toxic” employee was defined as some who commits an egregious violation of company policy — examples include sexual harassment, workplace violence, falsifying documents, fraud and/or general workplace misconduct.

What the cost estimate didn’t take into account is the potential cost of legal problems, regulatory penalties or reduced employee moral from keeping a toxic employee on staff.

This data comes from a Harvard Business School working paper, entitled “Toxic Workers,” for which the authors, Dylan Minor, a visiting assistant professor at the school, and Michael Housman, a workforce scientist in residence at hiQ Labs, analyzed the organizational performance of more than 50,000 employees from 11 companies.

A far more shocking stat

As interesting as that cost figure might be to employers, this finding may be the most head-turning from Minor and Housman’s research: The cost savings from dumping a toxic hire is more than double the monetary gain of making a stellar new hire.

Their research concluded that employers receive a monetary gain by hiring a stellar worker of $5,303 over and above what an average worker would produce.

Bottom line: “… avoiding a toxic worker (or converting them to an average worker) provides more benefit than finding and retaining a superstar,” Minor and Housman said.

The productivity factor

Their research also found that your most toxic employees can also be some of the most productive in terms of their own output. This is the reason they’re hired in the first place and are able to stick around.

But Minor and Housman said, “This performance finding suggests that toxic workers are similar to what Jack Welch described as ‘Type 4’ workers — those who deliver on the numbers but do not have the right values.”

They then pointed out that Welch preached the need to remove these workers, despite the difficulty in doing so because of their productivity.

Minor and Housman went on to cite other research, published by the Harvard Business Review, which found a policy that removed “big shots” and “tyrants” seems to lead to a more productive organization in general — due to the uplifting effect removing toxic workers would have on the rest of the workforce

Lots of people think drinking bottled water is safer. Is it?


The Truth About Tap

Lots of people think drinking bottled water is safer. Is it?

Few questions confound health-conscious conservationists more than the first one a waiter might ask at a nice restaurant: bottled or tap?

Kirstin Mckee/Stocksy

We know which is better for the environment. That’s easy. Not only are millions of tons of plastic bottles clogging our landfills, but it takes 1.63 liters of water to make every liter of Dasani—and the company is doing it in drought-plagued California.

But despite those harsh realities, public concerns about tap-water quality (and, let’s face it, slick marketing) have caused bottled water sales to soar over the past couple of decades. Ads and labels drive home the perception of purity, with images of pristine glaciers and crystal-clear mountain springs. We now have “luxury” water bars and “premium” bottled water. Some people are spending 10,000 times more per gallon for bottled water than they typically are for tap. Is it worth the cost—to you and the environment?

How is water regulated?

It’s regulated by different agencies, with different missions. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency oversees the quality of water that comes out of your tap, while the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is responsible for ensuring the safety and truthful labeling of bottled water sold nationally. States are responsible for regulating water that is both packaged and sold within its borders (which is most of the bottled-water market), but one in five states doesn’t even bother.

It’s important to note that the federal government does not require bottled water to be safer than tap. In fact, just the opposite is true in many cases. Tap water in most big cities must be disinfected, filtered to remove pathogens, and tested for cryptosporidium and giardia viruses. Bottled water does not have to be.

Both kinds of water are tested regularly for bacteria and most synthetic organic chemicals, but city tap is typically assessed much more frequently. For example, bottled-water plants must test for coliform bacteria just once a week; city tap needs to be tested 100 or more times a month.

Limits on chemical pollution for both categories are almost identical. The one place where bottled water might have the edge is in the case of lead; because many older homes have lead pipes, the EPA standard for tap water is less strict—one-third of the FDA’s standard for lead in bottled water.

OK—but which type of water is actually safer?

In 1999, after a four-year review of the bottled-water industry and its safety standards, NRDC concluded that there is no assurance that bottled water is cleaner or safer than tap. In fact, an estimated 25 percent or more of bottled water is really just tap water in a bottle—sometimes further treated, sometimes not.

Of the 1,000 bottles tested, the majority proved to be relatively clean and pure. About 22 percent of the brands tested contained chemicals at levels above state health limits in at least one sample. If consumed over a long period of time, some of those contaminants could cause cancer or other health problems for people with weakened immune systems.

Though it’s mostly safe, tap might at times also present issues—especially if you live in a rural community with a higher likelihood of pesticide runoff contamination, or if you get your water from a private (unregulated) well or live in an older home.

Under “right-to-know” provisions in the drinking water law, all tap suppliers must provide annual quality reports to their customers. You also can test your water yourself. Standard consumer test packages are available through large commercial labs at a relatively reasonable price. Call your state drinking-water program or the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791) for a list of contacts.

Your water report will point out possible risks to health; fortunately, a home filter designed explicitly to strip contaminants will resolve most cases. If you want to take extra precautions, you should purchase filters certified by NSF International. These models are designed to filter out specific contaminants, so you can select one based on your needs.

If I still want (or need) to buy bottled water, how do I know what I’m buying?

Even though both the federal government and most states have bottled-water safety programs, regulations don’t adequately assure consumers of either purity or safety. A few state bottled-water programs (for example, those in Massachusetts and New York) maintain lists of the sources, but not all do.

Carefully check the label and even the cap; if it says “from a municipal source” or “from a community water system,” this means it’s derived from tap. If you don’t find any information on the bottle, you can call the bottler or the bottled-water program in your state or the state where it was packaged and ask about the source.

Could the actual bottle pose a health risk?

Recent research suggests there might be cause for concern. Chemicals called phthalates, which are known to disrupt testosterone and other hormones, can leach into bottled water over time. One study found that water that had been stored for 10 weeks in plastic and in glass bottles containing phthalates, suggesting that the chemicals could be coming from the plastic cap or liner. Although there are regulatory standards limiting phthalates in tap, there are no legal limits in bottled water; the bottled-water industry waged a successful campaign opposing the FDA proposal to set a legal limit for these chemicals.

Sistemic Toxicity

Toxicology / Biocompatibility

Classification of Plastics

Plastics and other polymers intended for use in medical devices, implants or other systems associated with a medical process, must be shown to be suitable for use in the intended applications. home-biology-toxicologyUSP Biological Reactivity Tests, in Vivo offers guidance to the testing required to meet the individual classification sought. Through exposure to different extract vehicles at different temperatures, the response of the material defines the level of classification and is directly related to the intended use of the material.

The test methods designated for use in the classification of plastics, elastomers, or other polymers are Systemic Injection, Intracutaneous Injection, and Implantation.

Biocompatibility; ISO 10993, USP

Biocompatibility is the process of evaluating materials used in the manufacture of medical devices. It consists of a number of tests designed to provide assurance that the final product, when used as indicated, will be safe. When a material is being considered for use in a final product, the appropriateness of its use should be assessed and documentation should be made of the evaluation.

While some materials have been tested, other materials and chemical components have not. The manufacturer of a medical device is obliged to evaluate the product for possible adverse responses before release into the marketplace is allowed.

The type of testing needed for any given material/device is determined by the intended patient contact and the duration of that contact. The ISO series of guidance documents for biocompatibility (ISO 10993), and the United States Pharmacopoeia , offer the direction needed to determine which test methods may be most appropriate.

Cytotoxicity; ISO 10993-5, USP

Definition: the degree to which an agent/material possesses a specific destructive action on certain cells.

The characteristics of the sample are used to determine the method to be used – extract, direct contact, indirect contact – when conducting the cytotoxicity test. The sample is exposed to mammalian cell cultures (L929 cells) by extract, direct or indirect contact. After the appropriate incubation time for the method used, the cytotoxic effect is evaluated.

Test Methods

Agar diffusion: designed for polymeric materials. The thin agar layer protects the cells from damage while allowing any leachable chemicals to diffuse to the cell culture.

Direct Contact: allows for the simultaneous extraction and testing of leachable chemicals, not appropriate for very low or high density materials that could cause mechanical damage to the cells.

MEM elution: designed for polymeric materials, allows for extraction at physiological or non-physiological temperatures, appropriate for high density materials and for dose response evaluations.

USP – specifies duplicate testing
ISO – specifies triplicate testing

Sensitization; ISO 10993-10, USP

This process explores the potential of a material or product to cause a sensitizing effect or allergenic reaction in a patient over an extended period of exposure. Two methods are followed at Geneva Labs: the Guinea Pig Maximization Test (GPMT) and the Closed Patch Test.

GPMT – The maximization test is the most sensitive. Extracts using 0.9% saline and cottonseed oil are prepared from the product. The test is performed in a series of three stages extending over a period of 4 weeks.

Closed Patch Test, a.k.a. Standard Buehler Test – This test is used primarily for products / materials that will have direct skin contact. It is performed in a series of phases over a period of 5 weeks.

Irritation / Intracutaneous Reactivity; ISO 10993-10, USP

Irritation – determines the likelihood of a material, device, or their extract to cause irritation. Sites chosen for the test exposure should be the most appropriate for the indicated use (skin, eye, mucosal membrane) of the material or device.

Intracutaneous injection – evaluates tissue reaction to extracts made from the device, used when the irritation tests are inappropriate for the use of the device, i.e.; devices having blood or compromised tissue contact.

Systemic Toxicity; ISO 10993-11, USP

Definition: toxicity that is not limited to adverse effects at the site of contact between the body and a device.

An extract of the material or product item is prepared following either ISO guidance or USP standards. ISO 10993 requires utilizing extract vehicles that are polar (0.9% sodium chloride) and non-polar (vegetable oil). In addition to 0.9% sodium chloride and vegetable oil, USP indicates that extracts be prepared with polyethylene glycol and alcohol in sodium chloride solution.

Acute systemic toxicity; indicated for product items with limited (

Ten subjects (5 test and 5 control) each receive an injection of the indicated extract and control vehicle. The test and control subjects are monitored for any systemic reaction; weights are checked and recorded daily.

Subacute systemic toxicity; indicated for product items with prolonged (24 hours to 30 days) patient exposure

This test is designed to determine systemic effects occurring after multiple exposures. 20 subjects (10 test and 10 control) each receive an injection of the indicated extract and control vehicle at daily intervals. Daily health observations of the test subjects and controls, with weekly monitoring of weights, are performed. Gross necropsy, with weights of specified organs, is analyzed.

Subchronic and chronic systemic toxicity test methods are followed for materials that do not have a history of testing, either in the use for products in the intended application, or for permanent patient exposure. If either of these test methods are indicated for your product, Geneva Labs will work with an outsource facility to provide you with the needed information.

Genotoxicity; ISO 10993-3

This testing evaluates the possibility that a material may cause a toxic modification or alteration of the structure or function of genetic material.

Genotoxic chemicals are those which are capable of causing damage to DNA. Such damage can potentially lead to the formation of a malignant tumor, but DNA damage does not lead inevitably to the creation of cancerous cells.

The most common test procedures are the Ames Test and the Mouse Lymphoma Assay. A positive response in any of the in vitro tests requires additional in vivo assays or a presumption that the material is mutagenic.

Implantation; ISO 10993-6, USP

The intent of the Implantation Test is to assess the response a test article may have on the tissue of a test subject. The nature of the test article will determine the means of implant, surgical vs. needle. The test article and control are implanted into the paravertebral muscle of three test subjects. The implanted material remains in place for the indicated time based on intended patient exposure. The implant test is followed by a histopathological evaluation by a board certified veterinary pathologist.

The required time of exposure to the test subject is based on the intended duration of patient contact. The time frames may range from 7 days (limited exposure;

Hemocompatibility; ISO 10993-4

Testing for hemocompatibility measures the level of interaction between the material(s) and the blood. Interactions with artificial materials begin after the initial contact with the blood. Adsorption of plasma proteins with the device surface initiates foreign-surface thrombosis.

Initially, for devices externally communicating with direct or indirect blood contact, the following testing should be considered: hemolysis, coagulation, thrombosis and immunology (complement activation).

Unsafe levels of toxic chemicals found in drinking water of 33 States

Unsafe levels of toxic chemicals found in drinking water of 33 states

High levels of fluorinated compounds have been linked to cancer, hormone disruption

August 9, 2016 | Editor’s Pick Popular

Levels of a widely used class of industrial chemicals linked with cancer and other health problems — polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkylsubstances (PFASs) — exceed federally recommended safety levels in public drinking-water supplies for 6 million people in the United States, according to a new study led by researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS).

The study was published Aug. 9 in the journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters.

“For many years, chemicals with unknown toxicities, such as PFASs, were allowed to be used and released to the environment, and we now have to face the severe consequences,” said lead author Xindi Hu, a doctoral student in the Department of Environmental Health at Harvard Chan School, Environmental Science and Engineering at SEAS, and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. “In addition, the actual number of people exposed may be even higher than our study found, because government data for levels of these compounds in drinking water is lacking for almost a third of the U.S. population — about 100 million people.”

PFASs have been used over the past 60 years in industrial and commercial products ranging from food wrappers to clothing to pots and pans. They have been linked with cancer, hormone disruption, high cholesterol, and obesity. Although several major manufacturers have discontinued the use of some PFASs, the chemicals continue to persist in people and wildlife. Drinking water is one of the main routes through which people can be exposed.

The researchers looked at concentrations of six types of PFASs in drinking-water supplies, using data from more than 36,000 water samples collected nationwide by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from 2013 to 2015. They also looked at industrial sites that manufacture or use PFASs; at military fire-training sites and civilian airports where firefighting foam containing PFASs is used; and at wastewater-treatment plants. Discharges from these plants — which are unable to remove PFASs from wastewater by standard treatment methods — could contaminate groundwater. So could the sludge the plants generate, which is frequently used as fertilizer.

The study found that PFASs were detectable at the minimum reporting levels required by the EPA in 194 out of 4,864 water supplies in 33 states across the United States. Drinking water from 13 states accounted for 75 percent of the detections: California, New Jersey, North Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, Georgia, Minnesota, Arizona, Massachusetts, and Illinois, in order of frequency of detection.

This map is based on data from the EPA. Areas highlighted in blue indicate zip codes where PFASs were detected in one or more water samples from 2013 to 2015 that were at or above the minimum reporting levels required by the EPA. Zip codes that are elevated in PFASs do not represent all drinking water sources in that region. Individuals concerned about their drinking water should consult with their local water suppliers. More detailed maps based on the EPA data are available from the Environmental Working Group.

Sixty-six of the public water supplies examined, serving six million people, had at least one water sample that measured at or above the EPA safety limit of 70 parts per trillion (ng/L) for two types of PFASs, perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). Concentrations in some locations ranged as high as 349 ng/L for PFOA and 1,800 ng/L for PFOS.

The highest levels of PFASs were detected in watersheds near industrial sites, military bases, and wastewater treatment plants — all places where these chemicals may be used or found.

“These compounds are potent immunotoxicants in children and recent work suggests drinking-water safety levels should be much lower than the provisional guidelines established by EPA,” said Elsie Sunderland, senior author of the study and associate professor at both the Harvard Chan School and SEAS.

Other Harvard Chan authors of the study included Philippe Grandjean and Courtney Carignan. Funding for the study came from the Smith Family Foundation and a private donor.

From the authors of the study: We have mapped watersheds in the United States that have potentially high concentrations of PFASs based on U.S. EPA data. This does not mean that all drinking water supplies within the highlighted regions contain high PFAS concentrations, but that at least one sample from at least one water supply was reported to be at or above levels considered safe by the U.S. EPA between 2013 and 2015. However, no measurements have been made in many water supplies across the country. We recommend increased monitoring of these contaminants in our drinking water. For more information, please contact the EPA: Cathy Milbourn, Milbourn.cathy@Epa.gov, or Monica Lee, Lee.monica@Epa.gov.

PFASs and reduced immune response

Another Harvard Chan School study, led by Grandjean, adjunct professor of environmental health, published in Environmental Health Perspectives, also suggested negative health impacts of PFAS exposure. That study looked at a group of about 600 adolescents from the Faroe Islands, an island country off the coast of Denmark. Those exposed to PFASs at a young age had lower-than-expected levels of antibodies against diphtheria and tetanus, for which they had been immunized. The findings suggested that PFASs, which are known to interfere with immune function, may be involved in reducing the effectiveness of vaccines in children.

Science environment video report reveals disturbing find in U.S. drinking water