EWG Reports PFAS pollution Nearly Impossible to Escape

“Escaping PFAS pollution is nearly impossible” – Olga Naiclenko, Vice President of the Environmental Working Group (EWG) said this after leading their latest study on the chemicals in the United States. According to the EWG report, this test gathered samples of drinking water in May-December 2019 from 44 places across the United States and the District of Columbia. Of those 44 places, Meridian, Mississippi was the only place with no PFAS detected. 

Samples with the highest parts per trillion (ppt) were found in Brunswick County, North Carolina at 185.9 ppt and Quad Cities, Iowa at 109.8 ppt. The EPA’s limit for PFAS is 70 ppt. Miami, Philadelphia, New Jersey, New Orleans and New York City were among the highest ranking metropolitan areas. Memphis, Tennessee at 1.0 ppt and Seattle, Washington at 0.7 ppt were a couple of the lowest ranking metropolitan areas. 

The EWGs’ recommended safe level of PFAS contamination is 1 ppt. Most of their results showed levels far greater than 1 ppt, but only 10 places have publicly reported contamination. This study led the EWG to believe that PFAS are likely detectable in all major US water supplies, and PFAS contamination has been drastically underestimated.