Cwiertny in The Gazette on High Levels of "Forever Chemicals" in Drinking Water
In the past year, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources has been sampling water in various cities to measure the pervasiveness of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS or "forever chemicals." On June 15, the Environmental Protection Agency reduced the safety threshold of two of the most prominent PFAS from 70 parts per trillion to .004 parts per trillion and .02 parts per trillion. Dave Cwiertny, director of the Environmental Policy Research Program, was quoted in an article by The Gazette emphasizing the potential threat these chemicals may hold.
"This is a strong statement from the EPA that these are a dangerous class of chemicals," he said. "It seems to be consistent with the emerging body of science that there may not be any safe exposure."
More testing by the Iowa DNR is planned for the coming months, and in the meantime, temporary advisories have been put in place until the EPA releases its PFAS National Primary Drinking Water Regulation, expected later this year. Cwiertny said the new advisories will guide federal regulators to treat PFAS like other regulated cancer-causing chemicals, such as benzene and tetrachloride.