NY Regulates PFOA and PFOS as Hazardous Substances

Lake Washington NY Chemical Contamination

Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) as well as two other variants of the chemicals have been added to New York state’s list of hazardous substances. The announcement that these toxic chemicals will now be regulated came from the the State’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) late last week.

The City of Newburgh’s primary water supply and private wells in the towns of New Windsor and Newburgh have been contaminated by these harmful chemicals which have been linked to kidney and testicular cancers as well as other health problems.

Washington Lake, the primary supply for drinking water for the City of Newburgh has been closed for 9 months because of high PFOS levels. Meanwhile PFOA has been discovered in private wells in New Windsor and the Town of Newburgh.

PFOA and PFOS are used in firefighting foams used to extinguish airplane fires as well in grease/stain/water-resistant clothing, packaging, carpets and other consumer goods. The state has now prohibited fire departments from using foams containing the chemicals for training or other purposes other than to extinguish an actual fire.

Image Source: Newburgh Historical Society