The chemicals perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), also known as C8, and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) are bio-permanent, are resistant to direct oxidation, and do not break down naturally in the environment or the human body. Studies suggest that exposure to these chemicals may lead to cancer.
The drinking water supplies of more than 15 million Americans have water concentrations of these compounds at levels exceeding the health advisory limit; however, this only represents testing in half of the water supplies in the U.S. Other estimates indicate the chemicals have contaminated more than 1,500 water systems nationally, affecting up to 110 million Americans. Based on testing by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 98% of Americans have at least some level of chemicals in their blood, and they have been found in water supplies across more than 27 states.
The U.S. EPA currently marks the unsafe level of PFOA and PFOS to be more than 70 parts per trillion (ppt), although some researchers and states believe lower levels still are unsafe. Even 1 ppt may be enough to pose health risks, leading regulators to recommend these chemicals as candidates for the Safe Drinking Water Act.
Poisonous chemicals PFOA and PFOS used in the production of leather products, stain-resistant clothing, nonstick cookware, food packaging, microwave popcorn bags, cosmetics and more are affecting the drinking water of millions of households throughout the United States.
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