Pennsylvania has enacted a statewide drinking water limit on PFAS, two forms of highly toxic chemicals, nicknamed “forever chemicals.” The rule sets a limit of 14 parts per trillion for perfluorooctanoic acid and 18 parts per trillion for perfluorooctane sulfonic acid, and applies to all 3,117 water systems in the Commonwealth.
Both chemicals belong to the group of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known collectively as PFAS, which are used in products such as nonstick cookware, carpets, firefighting foam and fast-food wrappers. There is no national limit on PFAS at this time, although USEPA has issued an advisory level of 70 parts per trillion or below.
PFAS is a concern because some studies have found associations between the chemicals and cancer, thyroid disease, ulcerative colitis and other health issues, although effects on human health are not conclusive.
In 2021, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) said that about one-third of the more than 400 sites it had tested across Pennsylvania were found to contain at least one of the chemicals. The chemicals have turned up increasingly in public water systems and private wells around the country after the federal government in 2013 ordered public water systems with more than 10,000 customers to test for it.
If you have any questions about PFAS, please call Paul Bruder at 717-232-5000, or email at email@example.com.