Toxic Chemicals Known as PFAS Detected in KY Drinking Water
Friday, November 29, 2019
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Chemicals called PFAS (short for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) have been found in Kentucky's drinking water.
Known as emerging contaminants, PFAS are found in the Teflon in non-stick cookware, food bags, some brands of dental floss and in fire fighting foam.
There is evidence that PFAS can accumulate in the body over time, and are linked to cancer and disruption of the thyroid and immune system.
John Mura, executive director of the office of communication for the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, says this is the first time the state has tested for PFAS in drinking water.
"Like everyone else, we have seen the growing literature that these compounds are a health concern,” he states. “So six months ago, the Department for Environmental Protection decided that it would do a statistically valid sampling of Kentucky's drinking water plants."
Scientists tested 81 municipal water treatment plants supplying drinking water to around 50% of Commonwealth residents. At least one out of the eight different PFAS and related substances tested for were found in 41 plants.
For decades, Chemours – a Dupont-spinoff company – dumped PFAS from its West Virginia plant into nearby waterways, including the Ohio River.
Samples taken from drinking water that draws from the Ohio River tested positive for PFAS. However, Mura says levels of the chemicals remain low in Kentucky.
"The EPA has set a lifetime health advisory level on two compounds of PFAS of 70 parts per trillion,” he points out. “Our results show no samples – and we took 648 samples – and we had no results that came close to that."
Mura says state officials will be developing a strategy for continued monitoring of PFAS and testing of potential upstream sources.
Several states, including North Carolina and Vermont, have issued health advisories for PFAS in drinking water, and are working to place stricter limits on PFAS contamination beyond the Environmental Protection Agency's recommended 70 parts per trillion.
get more stories like this via email
SALT LAKE CITY -- In the push toward carbon-free energy production, some cities in Utah and nearby states are considering a new type of nuclear …
Health and Wellness
TAMPA, Fla. -- Move United's USA Wheelchair Football League is expanding from four cities to nine, including Tampa, to give athletes with …
CRAIG, Colo. -- What would it look like if one in four households in the country was solar-powered? A new report from the "30 Million Solar Homes" …
Health and Wellness
DES MOINES, Iowa -- People across the Midwest, including Iowans, have dealt with a series of heat waves this summer. Health experts say hotter …
NEW YORK -- Over 10,000 New York and New Jersey front-line airport workers will get health insurance as part of new contract negotiations that come at…
INDIANAPOLIS -- Voting-rights advocates applaud this week's federal appeals-court decision to prevent Indiana from purging some voters from the rolls …
BOSTON -- A new survey finds widespread public support up and down the East Coast for protecting right whales from getting tangled up in fishing gear…
CARSON CITY, Nev. - A bill just introduced in the U.S, Senate would help thousands of species stay off the Endangered Species List - including …