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Tell Department of Health to protect New Yorkers from PFOA/PFOS

spacer   drinking water fountain credit JeffTurner-flickr-CC 450
Photo: Jeff Turner, CC

New Yorkers have until September 23 to speak out and ensure that the Department of Health sets stringent science-based limits on two toxic chemicals found in far too many drinking water supplies. Take Action today to tell New York State we need to set a combined limit of 2 parts per trillion for toxic chemicals PFOA and PFOS in drinking water.

The New York State Department of Health has proposed enforceable drinking water standards, or “maximum contaminant levels” (MCLs) for PFOS and PFOA. Exposure to these chemicals may cause negative developmental effects in fetuses and breast-fed infants, as well as kidney and testicular cancer, liver damage, and other health problems. Both chemicals have been found in the City of Newburgh’s primary drinking water supply, and in drinking water supplies nationwide. (Newburgh has relied on alternate water supplies for over three years.)

The Department of Health has proposed to set the most protective individual MCLs in the nation for PFOA and PFOS of 10 parts per trillion (ppt) each. But the science shows that there’s likely no safe level of exposure to these chemicals, and the appropriate level to protect public health is a combined limit of 2 ppt.

In addition to providing enforceable limits for drinking water, the final MCLs will also be used by the Department of Environmental Conservation to set cleanup standards for contaminated sites, including the source of contamination in Newburgh.

PFAS chemicals have contaminated drinking water and fish at hundreds of locations. In order to protect New Yorkers from this entire class of toxic chemicals,the Department of Health should regulate other PFAS at levels consistent with the most recent science.

Stand up for stringent enforceable drinking water standards across New York State - submit comments to the Department of Health before September 23.


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  • Katherine Ceroalo, New York State Department of Health

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