New Jersey: Looking at stricter restrictions for chemicals in drinking water

Although it has been almost two decades since a dangerous category of chemicals, perfluorinated chemicals, was discovered in common consumer products manufactured in the United States (U.S.) and removed – but still present in drinking water.

New Jersey, which can still find some of the highest concentrations of the chemicals in its drinking water, is now looking at how to control the chemical and lower the threat it poses to the health of the public.

Perfluorinated chemicals have been linked to diseases such as cancer, developmental issues in young children, and high cholesterol. According to the New York Times, it has even driven the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to release a health advisory regarding a safe chemical limit in drinking water.

While the EPA does not regulate the chemicals formally, a few states in the nations have begun to implement their own state-wide restrictions. In November, a panel of scientists in New Jersey officially known as New Jersey’s Drinking Water Quality Institute that advices the state government recommended that the state implement strict limits on perflouorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), a type of perfluorinated chemicals. According to environmental and health advocates, the recommendation may result in New Jersey having the harshest limits on PFOS in the U.S.

If the recommendation is accepted, New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection would be able to impose a “maximum contaminant limit” and enable state officials to require water systems operators to meet the new standard with carbon filters or other technology.

“These chemicals are extremely persistent, they’ve become global contaminants, and they can seriously impact human health at extremely low concentrations,” Dr David Andrews, a senior scientist with a Washington-based organisation, the Environmental Working Group, said.


Source: The New York Times