Read the full article by Annie Ropeik (New Hampshire Public Radio)
“Thursday marks the restart of widespread testing for PFAS chemicals in New Hampshire’s public water supplies, after a year-long delay due to a lawsuit from PFAS-maker 3M.
PFAS are industrial chemicals, widely found in groundwater and linked to health problems including liver and kidney disease, high cholesterol and reproductive, developmental and immune issues, as well as potentially some cancers.
The chemicals were common until at least the early 2000s in many household products, but aren’t subject to binding federally regulations. New Hampshire is one of a small but growing number of states with its own PFAS limits.
The state Department of Environmental Services briefly enacted these new rules last year, before a judge granted an injunction that halted enforcement. This summer, the state legislature re-authorized the limits itself and put an end to the court case.
Starting Thursday, public water systems of all sizes, as well as schools, will have to test on a quarterly basis for four kinds of PFAS in their water supply.
If their average levels over four consecutive quarters exceed any the state’s limits, which are some of the strictest in the country, they could have to invest millions of dollars in treatment technology or new water sources.
Brandon Kernan, the head of the DES Drinking Water Bureau, told NHPR that voluntary sampling from 2016 to 2019 showed close to 200,000 people affected by PFAS contamination.
It means contamination was present at one time in 7% of water systems, serving more than a quarter of public water users in the state. The state says this rate is comparable to a naturally occurring contaminant…”