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Monthly Archives

April 2021

Federal Agencies Plan to Investigate Links between PFAS Exposure and Viral Illness

By PFAS in the news

Two federal health agencies are planning to investigate potential links between exposure to toxic PFAS chemicals and susceptibility to viral illnesses like Covid-19.

The study would build on federally funded investigations of PFAS exposure in nine communities near U.S. military bases where the chemicals were found in drinking water. Researchers hope to enroll 4,075 people from those previous investigations in the new assessment.

A collaboration between the National Center for Environmental Health and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, the study will be based on health questionnaires sent to people who have already had blood samples drawn for the PFAS exposure assessments. Read more…

Alaska sues PFAS makers as lawmakers seek broader action from regulators

By PFAS in the news

The state of Alaska is suing manufacturers of a pair of the toxic PFAS compounds that have contaminated groundwater across the state. The lawsuit filed Wednesday names chemical giants 3M, Dupont and others.

It comes the same day as a bill was filed compelling state regulators to take broader action on contaminated sites, many near small state-run airports in communities from like Gustavus and Yakutat which have a number of PFAS compounds in private wells.

The 38-page legal complaint filed on behalf of Alaska Attorney General Treg Taylor notes that for decades, the companies knowingly produced the toxic chemicals, which do not break down in the environment and are highly soluble, allowing them to easily spread in groundwater. Read more…

US rainwater contains new and phased out PFAS

By PFAS in the news

Rainwater collected in the Ohio-Indiana region contains both new and phased-out per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), according to research presented Monday at the American Chemical Society Spring 2021 meeting in the Division of Environmental Chemistry. College of Wooster chemist Jennifer A. Faust explained that these persistent pollutants are transported in the atmosphere and can be deposited far from the source via precipitation. Her group wanted to know how much variation there was in rainwater PFAS levels within a region. This information can lead researchers back to point sources of the chemicals. Read more…

Gillibrand Unveils PFAS Medical Monitoring Bill In Hoosick Falls

By PFAS in the news

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand hosted a roundtable discussion with community leaders and advocates Monday in Hoosick Falls where she provided details on new legislation intended to address PFAS contamination and require medical monitoring for those affected by pollution.

The last time Senator Gillibrand came to Hoosick Falls, it was July 2016 for a roundtable discussion on PFOA contamination. During the visit, the Democrat pledged to ban PFOA – the primary contaminant found in the village’s water supply, as well as private wells in the Town of Hoosick, and the nearby Town of Petersburgh.

Hoosick Falls has come a long way since the “emerging contaminant” was first detected, with filtration systems installed in homes and the municipal water supply. New York State has set new maximum contaminant levels for compounds PFOA and PFOS. Read more…

Bemidji settles with 3M over water treatment for ‘forever chemicals’

By PFAS in the news

The city of Bemidji recently reached a settlement with 3M to help pay for treating contamination in the city’s water supply.

3M will pay $12.5 million toward building and operating a new treatment facility to remove chemicals known as PFAS, or per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances.

The city discovered elevated levels of PFAS in its wells in 2016. It’s believed that the source of the contamination was firefighting foam used during training at the regional airport, which is located near the wells. Read more…

A town’s water is contaminated with ‘forever chemicals’ – how did it get this bad?

By PFAS in the news

On a bitterly cold afternoon earlier this year, the Haw River was running high – its water a bright ochre thanks to heavy rainfall and snow melt.

Most of the water flowed south, where it would eventually connect with Jordan Lake and the rest of the Cape Fear River basin, home to the cities of Greensboro, Durham, Fayetteville and Wilmington and a major source of drinking water for the eastern half of the state.

But some of it took a sharp turn, pumped up to the local water treatment plant where it was cleaned and filtered before continuing its journey, piped down the road and into a church in downtown Pittsboro where Jim Vaughn had just finished helping hand out free lunches.

Vaughn, a retired electrical equipment salesman and longtime Pittsboro resident, had found a problem with the water coming out of the church’s tap – contamination with a group of chemicals that are linked to health concerns. Read more…

Prop 65 Notices On PFAS Foretell Wave of Corporate Targeting

By PFAS in the news

In the span of one week at the end of March 2021, the state of California issued three separate Prop 65 notices on PFAS that will add significant regulatory, compliance and litigation burdens on a wide array of business types. Important to note is that Prop 65 regulations that take effect are not applicable only to companies situated in California; rather, they apply to any company (even internet businesses) that sell products to anyone in the state of California. Given how prevalent PFAS are in thousands of products, if the actions proposed in the three notices take effect, the result may be a deluge of compliance and enforcement actions that could cost some companies hundreds of thousands of dollars. Read more…