“Scientists are recommending that New Jersey adopt the nation’s strictest limit on a toxic chemical that was once used for nonstick cookware and flame-resistant fabrics and is now linked with certain cancers, high cholesterol, and immune-system problems.

The Drinking Water Quality Institute, which advises the Department of Environmental Protection, formally said on Friday that New Jersey’s drinking water should have no more than 13 parts per trillion (ppt) of the chemical PFOS, a part of the perflurochemical family (PFCs), also known as PFAS, in order to protect public health.

If adopted by the DEP, the proposal would become a ‘maximum contaminant limit’ (MCL), which would allow regulators to require public water systems and private well owners to keep their water below that level.

PFOS is the third type of PFC to be evaluated by the DWQI since 2014. The panel has also recommended strict limits on PFNA, which was accepted by the DEP, and PFOA, which the DEP has not yet adopted more than a year after the recommendation was made…

The recommended legal limit for PFOS in New Jersey is much stricter than a health-advisory level issued by the EPA, which recommends — but does not require — a level of 70 ppt for PFOS and PFOA individually or combined…

Advocates for tighter control of PFCs have long urged the EPA to regulate the chemicals but have in the past few years been relying more heavily on states, especially New Jersey, to set public health standards in the absence of federal leadership.

Still, EPA Secretary Scott Pruitt announced last week that the agency will look at whether to regulate PFOS and PFOA, and said the EPA will draw up a national management plan on the chemicals by the end of the year.

But he rejected campaigners’ calls for the release of a study on PFCs by another federal agency, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, which has been reportedly withheld by the federal government because it recommends PFC limits that are much tighter than those published by EPA.”

Read the full article by Jon Hurdle