Apr 12, 2007

New Jersey to offer guidance for perfluorinated chemicals drinking water...

New Jersey officials have issued the most stringent preliminary health-based guidance yet on perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) levels in drinking water in the U.S. The guidance, a first step in regulating PFOA, was issued as a benchmark so that water companies can judge whether the low levels of perfluorinated chemicals in their drinking water are safe for humans. New Jersey is the latest state to issue advice on PFOA in drinking water; the guidance follows action in two other states where past chemical industry operations have led to PFOA contamination of drinking water.

PFOA is unregulated in the U.S. Last year, the U.S. EPA's Science Advisory Board (SAB) classified PFOA as a likely human carcinogen, but EPA's risk assessment process, a precursor to any regulatory action, is likely to take years to complete, according to the agency. "States are running with this because the EPA process is too slow," says Kristan Markay with Environmental Working Group, an advocacy organization.