Read the full article by Jared Strong (Iowa Capital Dispatch)

“Statewide drinking water testing has revealed two more cities with detectable amounts of toxic chemicals that persist indefinitely in the environment, including Ames, the state’s ninth-most-populous city.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is sampling water in dozens of cities to gain a better understanding of the prevalence of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances — commonly known as PFAS or ‘forever chemicals.’ They are synthetic chemicals used to make non-stick and stain-resistant products and firefighting foams, among others. Research shows they can cause cancers when ingested by people.

Newly released DNR data show small amounts of the chemicals are present in the treated drinking water that goes to homes and businesses in Ames in central Iowa and Rock Valley in far northwest Iowa. The testing has previously found the chemicals in West Des Moines water.

‘We take this very serious, and we’re going to go above and beyond what we are required to do,’ said Lyle Hammes, the water plant superintendent for Ames.

The current federal safety threshold for PFAS is 70 parts per trillion in drinking water, although the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has indicated that might be too lenient. The chemicals tend to accumulate in people’s bodies, and most Americans are believed to have detectable amounts in their blood. The EPA is expected to revise its PFAS health advisory this year with a new safety threshold.

Ames’ treated drinking water had much smaller amounts than the federal standard, according to DNR sampling in December. Two prominent PFAS — perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) — were detected in concentrations of 3.1 and 6.5 parts per trillion. Because the chemicals were detected in the city’s finished water, the state wants Ames to test the water quarterly.”…