ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Environmental Protection Agency has released new health advisories for PFAS substances. PFOA and PFOS are members of the PFAS family known as forever chemicals that may cause health problems.
“From non-stick pans, to clothing, to food packaging, PFAS are everywhere,” explained Rob Hayes, Director of Clean Water for Environmental Advocates NY. “That’s why many Americans already have PFAS in their blood, which is very concerning and too many of them also have PFAS in their drinking water.”
In New York State, the contaminants have been found in the drinking water of some communities in the Capital Region, prompting the state to lower the contaminant threshold to well below the Environmental Protection Agency’s health advisory level of 70 parts per trillion. Now, the EPA has lowered it even more to less than 1 part per trillion.
“New York allows 10 parts per trillion of these chemicals in our water, that’s 10 times higher than the level EPA says is safe.”
Environmental Advocates NY wants the state to further lower its threshold.
“Whenever these chemicals are detected in drinking water, there is a risk to public health,” stated Hayes. “And they should be removed from the drinking water. That’s why we have been advocating for Governor Hochul and her Department of Health to reevaluate where New York is at on PFAS based on this new science.”
In a joint statement, The State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Department of Health stated,
“DOH and DEC are evaluating U.S. EPA’s new health advisory guidance for PFAS contaminants and how it will complement New York’s nation-leading, rigorous and enforceable drinking water standard. While the new interim Health Advisory Levels provide additional guidance on PFAS in drinking water, New York continues to advocate for an enforceable national drinking water standards for PFOA and PFOS and looks forward to EPA’s release of proposed standards later this year. Until then, New York will continue to work closely with EPA on their PFAS guidance, while upholding the strictest regulatory standards possible and using the best available science to ensure protections for water quality and public health. “
$1 Billion in grant funding is now available for states to apply for. This is to help disadvantaged and small communities combat PFAS contamination.