Read the full article by Kati Weis (CBS Denver)

(CBS4) – Poisonous ‘forever chemicals’ have been found at levels higher than what some states say are safe in more than a dozen Colorado water districts. This, after massive statewide testing for the pollutants was conducted during the pandemic.

The technical term for forever chemicals is PFAS, which stands for perfluoroalkyl substances, and they’re referred to as ‘forever chemicals,’ because one they’re in the body, they don’t leave, and instead build up over time. According to the EPA, ‘exposure to PFAS can lead to adverse health outcomes in humans.’

The EPA says two types of PFAS chemicals, PFOA and PFOS, can cause cancer, birth defects, and thyroid hormone disruption.

PFAS can be found in a variety of common products, like clothing, cookware, and furniture. Pollution of those products can then lead to contamination of the water supply.

While the EPA has no legal limit for PFAS in drinking water, it recommends the level not be any higher than 70 parts per trillion for PFOA and PFOS. But eight states say that’s not good enough, setting more stringent legal limits. Like Massachusetts, which has a PFAS maximum of only 20 parts per trillion for six PFAS chemicals, including PFOA, PFOS, PFHxS, PFNA, PFHpA, and PFDA. See the levels of those six chemicals found in your district, by clicking here.

In Colorado, the state health department just tested 400 water districts for the very first time, touting it found no water systems had levels above the EPA’s guidelines.

But CBS4 Investigates dug through the findings, learning 13 water systems have levels above the 20 parts per trillion limit Massachusetts recently set.

Those districts include Arapahoe County WWWA, with a level of 23 parts per trillion for the six PFAS chemicals regulated under Massachusetts, Forest Hills Riva Chase Water in the foothills at 26.4 parts per trillion, and Frisco Water with a level of 58.5 parts per trillion at one entry point tested.

CBS4 Investigates reached out to those water systems, and so far has only heard back from Frisco, which said of the results, ‘the EPA’s health advisory specifically applies to PFOA and PFOS compounds, two compounds out of the 18 PFAS compounds tested for in drinking water. Frisco’s water did not test above the maximum contaminant level for the two chemical compounds in the Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) family, PFOA and PFOS, which the EPA has established guidance for at this point…’”