No safe PFAS exposure level? EPA toxicity drafts point that way

Nov 22, 2021

Is there no safe exposure level to certain PFAS chemicals?


Toxicologists in the advocacy arena suggest that may be the case after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released draft toxicity analyses this week for two well-studied individual compounds, PFOS and PFOA, which dramatically reduce what’s previously been considered a “safe” level of exposure to those chemicals in drinking water.


On Tuesday, Nov. 16, the EPA asked its Science Advisory Board (SAB) to review new analyses and data that suggest the two chemicals — which have been found in many drinking water supplies and surface waters in Michigan and around the country — are far more toxic than previously thought.


According to the analyses, PFOS and PFOA can cause health problems at far lower doses than what the existing EPA health advisory level of 70 parts-per-trillion (ppt) if based on. That’s attributed to the inclusion of epidemiological studies that assess actual exposure in humans rather than reliance on studies of animals exposed to the chemicals in a lab.

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