“The DuPont subsidiary has submitted a formal petition to North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) to inflate allowable levels of GenX, the chemical compound that the public became aware of last summer — although there is evidence it has been in the Cape Fear River and surrounding waterways for several decades.

The EPA’s current lifetime health advisory level of GenX is 70 nanograms per liter.

On April 27, Chemours submitted a petition–based on research the chemical company itself has compiled–to request that the state establish groundwater quality standards for GenX at 70,000 nanograms per liter, a thousand-fold increase…

Agencies arrive at allowable concentration levels by measuring and estimating ‘the concentration of GenX at which no adverse non-cancer health effects would be anticipated in the most sensitive population over an entire lifetime of exposure,’ according to the DEQ.

The state finds adverse health effects may appear after a lifetime of consuming GenX in excess of 140 nanograms per liter. NCDEQ warns bottle-fed infants, the population that drinks the largest volume of water per body weight, are the most vulnerable…

Chemours is petitioning for what is called a unique ‘interim maximum allowable concentration’ or IMAC, of 70,000 nanograms of GenX per liter. The company’s rationale is that GenX is a so-called ‘short-chain polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) substance.’

In its petition, Chemours cites short-chain polyfluoroalkyls like GenX were developed to replace ‘long-chain polyfluoroalkyls’; those would be chemicals that are ‘essentially non-degradable’…

In 2017, DHHS downgraded its health goal of GenX from 71,000 nanograms per liter to 140, based on aset of animal studies and coordination with the federal EPA.

Without federal guidelines to rely on, the department based its preliminary GenX health goal on European Chemicals Agency’s toxicity information. Chemours cites the department’s previous health goal as being ‘similar in magnitude’ to the allowable concentration of the chemical it is currently seeking.”

Read the full article by Johanna Ferebee