FRANKFORT -- A statewide study of drinking water from municipal suppliers turned up no health concerns about a chemical group known as PFAS.
The Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection conducted a statewide study for the presence of Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances in the treated potable drinking water from municipal drinking water supplies. Based on the results, and when compared to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency health advisory of 70 parts per trillion, it has been determined there are no evident PFAS health concerns in the commonwealth's public drinking water supply.
The four-month testing conducted this year of 81 municipal water treatment plants, which cover about 50% Kentucky's population, showed that all samples tested were at non-detectable levels or were well below the federal health advisory level.
Each water treatment plant tested was sampled for eight PFAS related substances, which yielded 648 separate analyses. There were 96 detectable levels of PFAS related substances, of which only 17 (3%) tested above 5 parts per trillion. None were detected above the safe threshold established by USEPA of 70 parts per trillion.These PFAS compounds have been used since the 1940s for their ability to resist heat, oil, grease and water. Some of the most common uses have been stain and fire retardants in carpets, non-stick cookware, food bags, some dental floss and aqueous film-forming foam, known as AFFF, used in firefighting operations. Recently, these substances have been identified as contaminants of emerging concern.
According to the EPA, exposure to PFAS at high enough levels may impact reproductive and developmental health, increase the risk for cancer, disrupt thyroid hormones, and affect the immune system.
The full results of the testing can be found at http://bit.ly/drinking-water-report.