Environmental Law
PFOA Water Contamination
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Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) Water Contamination

NAPOLI SHKOLNIK PLLC is investigating several perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) contaminations in Colorado, New York, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Vermont

In response to the growing concern surrounding perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) contamination in the United States, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued lifetime health advisories for PFOA and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) on May 19, 2016.  The new advisories for PFOA and PFOS were set at 70 parts per trillion.

Perfluorooctanoic acid has widespread application, industrially and commercially. PFOA, as it is also known, has been detected in industrial waste, stain resistant carpets, carpet cleaning liquids, microwave popcorn bags and even some cookware such as Teflon (polytetrafluoroethylene). It has been widely used as a water and oil repellent in fabrics and leathers for outdoor clothing, including in the production of Gore-Tex. It was also used as an insulator for electric wires and in firefighting foam.

Sources of PFOA

Perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA is primarily released directly from industrial sites. For example, the estimate for the DuPont Washington Works facility is a total PFOA emissions of 80,000 pounds in 2000 and 1,700 pounds in 2004. A 2006 study, estimated about 80% of historical perfluorocarboxylate emissions were put to the environment due to fluoropolymer use and manufacture. PFOA can be measured in water from industrial sites other than fluorochemical plants. PFOA has also been detected in emissions from the carpet, paper, and electronics industries. The most frequent emission sources are carpet and textile protection products, as well as fire-fighting foams, commonly used in airport fire prevention and response trainings.

 

In addition to property damage, Perfluorooctanoic acid has been linked to various diseases and cancers, including:

  • testicular cancer
  • kidney cancer
  • thyroid disease
  • high cholesterol
  • ulcerative colitis
  • pregnancy-induced hypertension
  • developmental effects for fetuses
  • liver tissue damage
  • immune system impairments.