Read the full article by Ethan Genter (Bangor Daily News)

“Three coastal Hancock County schools are pursuing water treatment systems after they found high levels of chemicals linked to serious illnesses in their water.

Mount Desert Island High School, Brooklin Elementary School and Deer-Isle Stonington High School have some of Maine’s highest levels of PFAS — per-and poly-fluoroalkyl substances — so far discovered in ongoing tests of Maine’s public water systems and schools, according to water sample data from the state.

Tests at the three schools from the spring found there were as high as 85 parts per trillion at Mount Desert Island High School, 106.6 parts per trillion in Brooklin and 122.8 parts per trillion at the high school in Deer Isle. The state requires action to be taken if the levels of PFAS chemicals, a series of chemicals that have been linked to health problems, are above 20 parts per trillion.

A 2021 law requires all public water systems, schools and other facilities to be tested for the chemicals by the end of the year.

Many results are still pending, but, so far, only a mobile home park in Houlton and a housing complex in Glenburn have tested higher than the schools as of July 5.

The current standard in Maine of 20 parts per trillion is for six different PFAS chemicals. It is among the strictest regulations in the country and could be tightened further by summer of 2024. The federal Environmental Protection Agency last month issued a health advisory that warned of potential negative health effects of some PFAS chemicals from concentrations at a fraction of 1 part per trillion.” …