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U.S. PFAS Drinking Water Standards

New federal drinking water standards for PFAS: a major step toward addressing toxic exposures to PFAS

On April 10, 2024, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced drinking water standards for PFAS. Before these standards, states could decide whether or not to regulate PFAS chemicals, and at what level.

Now, the U.S. has set enforceable legal limits on PFAS chemicals that will lead to safer drinking water and better health outcomes for all residents, especially for women and children.

These standards come after years of public health action from water suppliers, researchers, activists, community groups, states and local organizations, and other groups. These standards are the first new drinking water regulations in over 20 years.

EPA established limits on six PFAS chemicals: PFOA, PFOS, PFNA, PFHxS, PFBS, and HFPO-DA (GenX chemicals).

  • PFOA and PFOS are regulated at 4 parts per trillion (ppt), individually.
  • PFNA, PFHxS, and GenX are regulated at 10 ppt, individually.
  • PFNA, PFHxS, GenX, and PFBS are regulated at a hazard index of 1.0.

For five chemicals (PFOA, PFOS, PFNA, PFHxS, and GenX), samples above their legal limits violate the drinking water standard. Unclear about what the hazard index means? Watch the video below.

For a PDF version of this video, click here.

For a PDF version of this video, click here.

To continue reducing your exposure to PFAS:

  • Filter your drinking water with an activated carbon or reverse osmosis filtration system.
  • Avoid stain-resistant carpets and upholstery, as well as stain-resistant treatments and waterproofing sprays.
  • Avoid products with the ingredient PTFE or other “fluoro” ingredients listed on the label.
  • Choose cookware made of cast iron, stainless steel, glass, or enamel instead of Teflon.
  • Eat more fresh foods to avoid take-out containers and other food packaging.
  • Avoid microwave popcorn and greasy foods wrapped in paper.
  • Look for nylon or silk dental floss that is uncoated or coated in natural wax.

Additional resources:

  • Find your tap water source using the Tap Water Database.
  • Connect with communities taking action to address PFAS pollution.
  • Get help interpreting your drinking water test results with the PFAS Exchange Exposure Tool.
  • Learn more about the drinking water standard requirements from EPA.
  • Get involved with a local water quality organization.
  • Let your local elected officials know that you support efforts to protect water quality.
  • Support the use of fluorine-free firefighting foams and PFAS-free consumer products.