The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) has recommended a new maximum level for the chemical PFOA, amid protests from environmentalists and legislators. This is only a recommendation - there will be a public comment period through the The New Jersey Drinking Water Quality Institute, which recommended the new limit to NJDEP.
Although NJDEP may alter this recommendation when it publishes its final rule, the new recommended level is 14 parts per trillion (ppt), which is significantly lower than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 70 parts per trillion level and lower than the state's strict level of 40 ppt.
PFOA has long history of being used in such products as stain-resistant clothing, non-stick cookware, and some fire-fighting foams. PFOA's strong chemical bond makes it desirable for industrial uses but is difficult to metabolize in humans. Long-term exposure can lead to many diseases. In addition, it's strong chemical bond makes it difficult to break down in the environment.
Once the public comment period is over, the Water Quality Institute will make a final recommendation to NJDEP, which will in turn set the final level.
For more information on PFOA and water quality standards, please contact:
Rick Shoyer, LSRP
Senior Project Consultant