NC Community's 'Forever Chemical' Level In Tap Water Sample Raises Concerns

NC Community's 'Forever Chemical' Level In Tap Water Sample Raises Concerns

12:06pm Apr 16, 2021
This is a photo of the Haw River near Pittsboro, where high levels of PFAS have been found. KERI BROWN/WFDD

A North Carolina community that’s grappling with PFAS contamination in its drinking water supply is highlighted in a new study by Consumer Reports and the Guardian. They partnered to collect tap water samples across the country.

They selected 120 people out of a pool of thousands of volunteers to test for some heavy metals and other contaminants.

In all but three of the samples collected, researchers found measurable levels of PFAS, also known as forever chemicals. That includes one collected from a church in Pittsboro. The level measured there was higher than the Environmental Protection Agency’s health advisory limit.

Investigative reporter Ryan Felton with Consumer Reports says the study is limited in the sense that it shows one tap water sample at one location in a given day. But he says the North Carolina sample stood out because PFAS contamination in this community is something that residents have been dealing with for a long time.

“And I think that just points to the fact that alarm bells keep going off and regulatory action is still delayed and trailing far behind what the research and evidence has been mounted to date,” says Felton.

In some studies, scientists have found associations between exposure to specific PFAS and a variety of health effects, including high cholesterol, thyroid disease, kidney cancer, and tooth decay in children.

Follow WFDD's Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news

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