In such wells, the EPA through the years has dramatically revised the health risk assessment.
In 2009, the advisory for someone drinking from the same water source through the course of their life was 200 parts per trillion for PFOS and 400 parts per trillion for PFOA.
In 2016, this advisory was dropped to a combined level of 70 parts per trillion.
Then, the EPA announcement in June stated that this advisory was being replaced with a new one that put levels for both chemicals at far below 1 part per trillion. This reflected new science, including studies that found PFAS can reduce the effectiveness of tetanus, diphtheria and other vaccines, according to an EPA statement.
“These compounds are toxic at much lower levels than previously thought,” said Melanie Benesh, vice president of government affairs with the Environmental Working Group, which has investigated PFAS pollution in the United States and advocated for regulatory forms.
The 2022 EPA advisory levels are so low that they cannot be reliably detected by current tests. That means any positive test for the two chemicals — no matter how small — is over these limits.
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