Read the full article by Alan Hovorka (Stevens Point Journal)

“WHITING – Village water showed trace amounts of two forms of ‘forever chemicals,’ according to newly released testing results.

Amid heightened scrutiny around a family of chemicals known as PFAS — or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, Whiting officials tested municipal wells for the cancer-linked chemicals. The results from the May 11 testing detected two compounds that are part of the PFAS family of chemicals well below state standards but above federal guidelines issued this summer.  

PFAS are man-made chemicals used for their water- and stain-resistant qualities in products such as clothing and carpet, nonstick cookware, packaging and firefighting foam. The family includes 5,000 compounds that persist both in the environment and the human body over time, earning the nickname ‘forever chemicals.’

PFAS-type chemicals are linked to a range of health problems, including types of kidney and testicular cancers, low birth weights and immune and reproductive system dysfunction. 

Of the village’s two municipal wells, only one showed detection for PFOS and PFHxS. Well 2, which serves 90% of Whiting, tested at .938 parts per trillion for PFOS and .849 parts per trillion for PFHxS. State standards of 70 parts per trillion for PFOA and PFOS could go into effect later in July, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. State standards will not regulate PFHxS.

The new state standards mean the village will need to test for PFAS chemicals regularly, Wilcox said. 

The village’s testing sampled for more than a dozen of the most common types of PFAS chemicals. 

Jacob Wilcox, utility director for the village, said he was pleased with the results.

The Environmental Protection Agency, however, issued new guidelines in June that recommend safety standards far below what Wisconsin will implement this year. 

The federal government’s interim standards are 0.004 parts per trillion for PFOA, 0.02 parts per trillion for PFOS, 10 ppt for GenX chemicals and 2,000 ppt for PFBS. The latter chemicals came into use as PFAS chemicals were phased out as the harmful effects of their exposure came into full view.” …