Read the full article by Claire Moore (Michigan Advance)

“Laboratory tests carried out by nonprofit activist organization Environmental Working Group (EWG) found evidence of PFAS contaminants in the city of Ann Arbor’s drinking water, according to a new study.

Tap water tests conducted in Ann Arbor between May and December 2019 found the city’s drinking water contained 15.8 parts per trillion (ppt) of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), two chemical compounds classified under the PFAS label. It’s important to note that number is below the PFAS safe limit of 70 ppt set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), but above EWG’s safe limit of 1 ppt…

The study also found PFAS present in tap systems of other metropolitan areas, including Washington, D.C., where EWG is based. 

In the District of Columbia, PFAS were measured at 21.7 ppt. Test results from Philadelphia measured 46.3 ppt, while Miami tested for 56.7 ppt. Two other metropolitan areas — Quad Cities, Iowa, and Brunswick County, N.C. — tested for 109.8 ppt and 185.9 ppt, respectively, putting them the highest on EWG’s results list. 

The results ‘confirm that the number of Americans exposed to PFAS from contaminated tap water has been dramatically underestimated by previous studies, both from the Environmental Protection Agency and EWG’s own research,’ the EWG wrote…

In December 2019, provisions to reduce PFAS contamination were stripped out of a defense policy bill that had the support of lawmakers in Michigan – the state with the nation’s highest number of PFAS sites. The bill passed without an amendment that would have required the EPA to designate PFAS as hazardous substances under the nation’s Superfund law, as the Advance previously reported.

The growing presence of PFAS is a point of concern for the EWG, EPA and state environmental agencies. Olga Naidenko, EWG’s vice president for science investigations, said ‘escaping PFAS pollution is nearly impossible’…”