MDEQ Establishes Residential and Non-Residential Drinking Water Criteria for PFOA and PFOS
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) announced the establishment of new drinking water criterion for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS). The criterion, the first of its kind in Michigan for these compounds, is set at 70 parts per trillion (ppt) for the combined concentration of PFOA and PFOS for both residential and non-residential drinking water. The new criterion became effective on January 10, 2018 and is part of the Part 201 generic cleanup criteria.
The new MDEQ criterion of 70 ppt is the same level as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s drinking water health advisory level, which was issued in May 2016. The U.S. EPA develops and issues health advisories to provide information on contaminants that can cause human health effects.
PFOA and PFOS are fluorinated organic chemicals that are part of a larger group of organic chemicals referred to as perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Of all the PFAS compounds, PFOA and PFOS have been the most studied. PFOA and PFOS have been used in the manufacturing of carpet, clothing, shoes, cookware, packaging, and other products. PFAS compounds have also been used by the Department of Defense (DoD) for fire extinguishing at military base airfields at locations throughout the United States. The PFAS compounds are found in aqueous film forming foam (AFFF), which is a fire suppressant used to extinguish fires caused by flammable liquids, including jet fuel.