Read the full article by Mike Argento (York Daily Record)
“When Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper Ted Evgeniadis began monitoring PFAS contamination in Kreutz Creek earlier this year, he expected to find levels of the harmful synthetic chemical in the water.
PFAS – short for Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances – are ubiquitous. The family of PFAS compounds are used in the manufacturing of food packaging to nonstick cookware to electronics to nearly everything. They are called “forever chemicals” because the compounds do not break down naturally.
PFAS have been found in a lot of waterways, prompting the national Waterkeepers Alliance to launch a survey this year to get a grip on the scope of the contamination.
What Evgeniadis found in Kreutz Creek was stunning. He found not just elevated levels of the chemical in the water. He found levels that were exponentially higher than standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the highest levels found in any of the 114 waterways the alliance tested.
In June, the EPA updated what it calls updated Drinking Water Health Advisories for two groups of PFAS – perfluorooctanoic acid, known as PFOA, and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid, PFOS, for short – are .02 parts per trillion for PFOS and .004 parts per trillion for PFOA. The advisory is not legally binding and the EPA is still developing its standards for drinking water. Kreutz Creek, while it does flow into the Susquehanna River, is not a source of drinking water.
Still, Evgeniadis’ samples found levels at 374.3 parts per trillion for PFOS and 847 parts per trillion for PFOA.
‘They’re not just high,’ Evgeniadis said. ‘We’re talking about serious contamination.’
The levels are concerning because PFAS, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have been known to cause a variety of serious health conditions, including cancer, liver and kidney disease, reproductive issues and hormonal disruptions. A CDC study found PFAS in the blood of 97 percent of Americans.” …