“A state board of scientists threw its weight behind North Carolina’s longstanding health goal on GenX Monday, signing off on a conservative amount of the chemical believed to be safe in drinking water.
That threshold: 140 parts per trillion. The miniscule amount represents the best estimate state scientists can make on the amount bottle-fed infants and other potentially sensitive populations can drink without expecting health problems from a chemical whose health effects have not been heavily studied.
State regulators first set this level in July of last year, soon after the public learned GenX was found in the Cape Fear River and municipal water supplies downstream from the Chemours plant. In backing that threshold Monday the Secretary’s Science Advisory Board on Toxic Air Pollutants rejected Chemours’ suggestion that the state adopt a significantly higher threshold.
The company had called for 70,000 parts per trillion, which was more in line with the health goal initially set by state officials, then lowered after another study on the chemical became available. The current North Carolina health goal is similar to one set in the Netherlands, where another Chemours plant is located and whose scientists the North Carolina board consulted.
The recommendation is part of a 20-plus page report the board worked to finalize Monday. Once changes approved during this meeting, and there were a number of them, are incorporated the document will be released for 30 days of public comment.