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message 1: by Robert (new)

Robert Zwilling | 2192 comments Teflon and Scothgard, very popular products, widely distributed, ended up in the water.

PFAS chemicals are “one of the most seminal public health challenges for the next decades.”

The EPA is underplaying the situation. The testing of polluted areas is done one compound at a time instead of analyzing everything that is present at a site. That's why money, no matter how clean it is, always ends up dirtying the waters.

message 2: by Robert (new)

Robert Zwilling | 2192 comments PFAS back in the news again, this time in California. It's the same story again from last year, only there is more current data to document the news story.

Drinking water sources for 74 community water systems serving 7.5 million Californians are contaminated with the chemicals called PFAS. They are known as forever chemicals because they never break down in the environment.

Potentially up to 100 million Americans could be exposed to them. The detected levels are drawn from "over the limit" test results that don't show what is happening now, only at some point in the past. This type of reporting allows events to be under reported, reducing the number of incidents brought to the public's attention.

The CDC says the level of contamination causing health effects of the forever chemicals is 10 times less than what the EPA considers harmful (what they test for), enabling the problem to appear to be less than it is. No amount of PFAS's are considered safe. Any level over 1 part per trillion is not considered good. That would be 1 drop in an olympic size swimming pool.

The chemicals ride in the water and when first detected, usually indicate that a plume is circulating through the body of water, which means there is much more to come. If the place where the levels were detected can clean up the water, no further action is taken, and if done quickly enough, the test result are removed from the over the limit detected at some point in the past test data. This prevents other areas in the general location from knowing they should be looking for a contaminated plume creeping their way.

message 3: by Robert (new)

Robert Zwilling | 2192 comments Interesting choice of words, should we break our bottled water habit. Sounds more like an addiction than a health benefit.

Cleaning up the countries reservoirs, water plants, and distribution systems would cost 24 billion dollars a year for 20 years. That's why Flint and Newark have lead in the water. It cost too much to tackle the whole problem, so nothing is done and lots and lots of money is saved. However, Americans spent 31 billion dollars on bottled water in 2018. A penny saved by not repairing infrastructure problems is 100 dollars lost later on down the road, or down the drain.

message 4: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 6624 comments Mod
I don't buy bottled water. I carry a plastic cup in my backpack.

message 5: by Brian (new)

Brian Burt | 449 comments Mod
Sigh. PFAS is a big issue here in my part of Michigan as well.

Michigan has more PFAS sites than other states. There’s a reason.

I'm at least heartened that it's getting quite a bit of media attention here, and people in the Great Lakes region genuinely seem to care.

message 6: by Robert (new)

Robert Zwilling | 2192 comments Interesting article, especially the line about when other states start dong widespread testing. The long standing practice of limited testing is a loophole bigger than the world itself. So much stuff gets rubber stamped as okay when it is never ever tested.

message 7: by Robert (new)

Robert Zwilling | 2192 comments Here is EWGs Tap Water database indexed by zip code. You can see what is in your water that isn't rated as a problem by your local water company. Some of the stuff is literally floating around for miles underground as plumes that started 50 years ago and there is no way to stop it.

message 8: by Clare (new)

Clare O'Beara | 6624 comments Mod
We have a boil water notice here...

message 9: by Robert (new)

Robert Zwilling | 2192 comments The stuff we got in our water is the kind of names that sounds like it evaporates pretty easily. Because of industrial activity in the past, there are places in the area where they pump the water out of the ground, spray it into the air to aerate it, then put the cleaned water back underground. Perhaps we all need to boil our water, but make sure it vents outdoors.

message 10: by Robert (new)

Robert Zwilling | 2192 comments "US drinking water contamination with ‘forever chemicals’ far worse than scientists thought"

I just wonder about all these articles quoting scientists, the situation was worse or even far worse than what we thought it was. For me that means that scientists, along with everything one else should quit thinking we are immune to everything that is going on around us. The world has become a very small place. It is a global village, with a fancy city center in the middle. The center should be a big wide open space filled with trees, shrubs, plants, fields, birds, insects, fields, lakes, patches of forests, but it isn't.

If we can see it, we can feel it, has to be updated to we are feeling it. All the time we see people documenting on how badly the animals are suffering with all the plastic in their lives, eating it until there stomachs are full. And all the time we are thinking, that's not us, it is happening to another species, but not to people. Wake up folks, we are filling up with tiny size bits, some bigger than micro size, but we are taking it all in along with the animals. We just think we're not. Couldn't tell you if it is based on arrogance, ignorance, foolishness, or just plain stupidity, but we are on the same planet, swimming in the same post industrial soup, taking in the same stuff, and eating plants and animals that have already ingested, digested, absorbed and utilized plastics, strange substances and forever chemicals into their bodies, the byproducts of which go into us.

And just because the article headline says its in the US, that doesn't mean anything, because where it isn't, it hasn't been tested for yet. But people being people will point to the lack of presence as determined by lack of testing as proof that it isn't there. Well 50 years ago that had a good chance of being true, but it is no longer true, and scientists need to wake up to that fact.

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