Friday, March 4, 2011

EPA Proposes Monitoring, Regulations for C8 (PFOA)

The US EPA has proposed regulations for public water systems that would require testing for C8 or PFOA and other perfluorochemicals. The agency plans to set the reporting level for C8 at 0.02 parts per billion.

C8, also known as PFOA or perfluorooctanoic acid, has been found in local water supplies as the result of industrial activity at DuPont Washington Works where the substance is used to make Teflon and hundreds of other applications. The discovery of the manmade substance in local drinking water was the subject of a class action lawsuit brought against DuPont by residents on both sides of the river and an ongoing landmark exposure study involving nearly 70,000 people, which was initiated to determine the outcome of the suit.

This week, the EPA proposed the monitoring of 28 chemical contaminants, which are currently not regulated. Every public water system in the nation that serves more than 10,000 people would be required to monitor their supplies for the list of chemicals. The list includes seven hormones, nine volatile organic compounds, one synthetic organic compound, four metals, chlorate, and six perfluorinated chemicals including PFOA, PFOS, PFNA, PFHxS, PFHpA, and PFBS.

It’s estimated that the testing program would cost $14.9 million to implement from 2012 to 2016.

The minimum reporting level for PFOA would be established at 0.02 parts per billion while the reporting level for PFOS (best known as 3M’s Scotchgard chemical) would be set at 0.04 parts per billion.

The EPA will be accepting comments on the proposed rules until May 2. Members of the public may email comments to