31 March 2016

Drinking the Magic: Impact of PFOA in Groundwater

NPR Report on Drinking Water Problems at Hoosick NY 
Loren Eiseley's oft-quoted notion that "If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water" appears in many places, including the Monterrey Bay Aquarium @MontereyAQ. But should we be drinking this magic?

Though perhaps drowned [sic] out by the Flint MI story, today NPR Morning Edition did follow up on earlier reports by WNYC and others.  The report highlights nationwide potential risks from perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) similar to that experienced in Hoosick Falls, NY.  

PFOA may be quite ubiquitous in many U.S. settings. From Wikipedia: "PFOA has been detected in industrial waste, stain resistant carpets, carpet cleaning liquids, house dust, microwave popcorn bags, water, food, some cookware and PTFE such as Teflon."

The State declared Hoosick's water OK to drink again on 30 March 2016, but, as results from a National Science Foundation grant to Bennington College and other tests seem to suggest, PFOA contamination can be found elsewhere in the region -- and even nationwide. 

As the NPR report notes:
The EPA has been trying to answer that question for years. Currently, there are no enforceable regulations from the federal government. To set those standards, the EPA says it needs more research on how PFOA impacts humans.

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