DEP RELEASES RESULTS OF DRINKING-WATER STUDY
(07/08) TRENTON - Department of Environmental Protection
Commissioner Lisa P. Jackson today released the results of a study
that evaluated the occurrence of a widely used industrial chemical
known as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in drinking-water systems
throughout the state.
"The study found very low levels in wells throughout New Jersey
- consistent with levels found in other areas of the country,"
said Commissioner Jackson. "We are early in the process of
assessing PFOA and what it means to human health. However, it is
important to involve water companies now, rather than later."
The DEP tested 23 drinking-water systems and PFOA was detected
at very low levels in 78 percent of those tested. The report also
includes drinking-water system results submitted from outside sources
including environmental groups and water companies.
DEP also has taken the first step toward developing a preliminary
drinking-water guidance value for PFOA. Based on existing animal
studies and estimates derived from a lifetime of exposure (70 years),
DEP identified a guidance level of .04 parts per billion (ppb).
Average blood levels in the United States are approximately 5 ppb.
The new guidance level is the first phase of an ongoing process
to establish a drinking-water standard for this contaminant. As
the science regarding PFOA is developing rapidly, DEP will continue
to conduct sampling and evaluate data from all sources as it becomes
available. DEP is not recommending a change in consumption patterns
based on the new information.
PFOA is used to make fluropolymers-substances with special properties
used in many industrial applications, including the manufacture
of consumer products such as non-stick cookware and all-weather
To view DEP's occurrence study and the report establishing a guidance
level, visit: http://www.nj.gov/dep/watersupply/pfoa.htm