New Hampshire Perfluorochemical (PFC) Contamination FAQs

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New Hampshire Perfluorochemical (PFC) Contamination FAQs

What are Perflurorochemicals?

Perfluorochemcials (PFCs) are a group of synthetic chemicals that have been used widely in manufacturing and are being increasingly identified in NH communities as a cause of drinking water contamination.

Where are the current affected areas in New Hampshire?

Yes, Merrimack and Litchfield have been identified as sites with environmental and drinking water contamination.

How are people exposed to PFCs?

Most people are exposed to PFCs through ingestion, examples include:

  • Drinking contaminated water;
  • Eating food that may contain high levels of PFCs;
  • Eating food contaminated by packaging materials containing PFCs; and
  • Hand-to-mouth transfer from surfaces treated with PFC-containing stain protectant such as carpets, which could significantly affect infants and toddlers.

Are there any standards for PFCs in drinking water?

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed a provisional drinking water Health Advisory for PFOS and PFOA for short-term exposure. The Provisional Health Advisory (PHA) reflects drinking water levels that are currently considered safe both adults and children over the short term.

The current EPA short-term PHA levels are 400 parts per trillion (or 0.4 parts per billion) for PFOA and 200 parts per trillion (or 0.2 parts per billion) for PFOS.

What are the health exposure risks associated with PFCs?

  • Occurrence of some types of cancer, including prostate, kidney, and testicular
  • Liver and kidney disease
  • Lower immune function
  • Effects on growth and development, including lower birth weight in infants
  • Decreased kidney function

How do I test for PFC exposure?

Residents with questions about PFCs and the blood testing program can call the DHHS Public Inquiry Line at 603-271-9461, or visit http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/pfcs/blood-testing.htm

For more information, how to get your water tested, please visit http://des.nh.gov/organization/commissioner/pfoa.htm

Are there any standards for PFCs in drinking water?

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed a provisional drinking water Health Advisory for PFOS and PFOA for short-term exposure. The Provisional Health Advisory (PHA) reflects drinking water levels that are currently considered safe both adults and children over the short term.

The current EPA short-term PHA levels are 400 parts per trillion (or 0.4 parts per billion) for PFOA and 200 parts per trillion (or 0.2 parts per billion) for PFOS.

 


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