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Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS)

Status: No national drinking water standard exists

 

Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) is a member of a group of perfluorinated chemicals used in many consumer products. PFOS and other perfluorinated chemicals can cause serious health effects, including cancer, endocrine disruption, accelerated puberty, liver and immune system damage, and thyroid changes. These chemicals are persistent in the environment and they accumulate in people. Click here to read more about perfluorinated chemicals.

2010-2015:

FOUND
FOUND ABOVE HEALTH GUIDELINES

26

states detected

212

utilities detected

11 million

people served

26

states over health guideline

211

utilities over health guideline

11 million

people served over health guideline

Health concerns for PFOS

Cancer

Harm to the immune system

Hormone disruption

Harm to fetal growth and child development

Harm to the liver

State and national drinking water standards and health guidelines

Health Guideline 1 ppt

The health guideline of 1 ppt for PFOS was defined by EWG based on studies by Phillipe Grandjean of Harvard University and many other independent researchers who found reduced effectiveness of vaccines and adverse impacts on mammary gland development from exposure to PFOA and PFOS, the two PFCs most widely detected in drinking water. This health guideline applies to the entire class of PFCs detected in water.

ppt = parts per trillion.

States reporting PFOS in drinking water

UTILITIES REPORTING ABOVE HEALTH GUIDELINES UTILITIES WITH CONTAMINATION
State UtilitiesPeople Served UtilitiesPeople Served
Florida283,155,352283,155,352
California201,998,273201,998,273
New York61,210,55861,210,558
Arizona42972,67242972,672
New Jersey10944,29210944,292
Ohio8391,4318391,431
Alabama33364,99533364,995
North Carolina9340,77810356,066
Delaware2307,0002307,000
Pennsylvania6183,2406183,240
Texas17178,28817178,288
Michigan4164,7294164,729
Massachusetts277,000277,000
Georgia376,563376,563
Colorado661,907661,907
Wisconsin153,000153,000
Maine245,465245,465
Minnesota240,938240,938
New Hampshire128,000128,000
Illinois126,443126,443
Washington122,926122,926
Indiana116,350116,350
West Virginia115,652115,652
Kentucky24,69324,693
Tennessee23,65023,650
Maryland13,50013,500
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LESS

Utilities with the highest amounts of PFOS, 2010-2015

ALL UTILITIES
LARGE UTILITIES
UtilityLocationTestsAverage levelPeople served
Oatman Water CompanyScottsdale, AZ2 of 2265.0 ppt536
Security Waster DistrictColorado Springs, CO35 of 38169.7 ppt19,000
City of Stuart - Water PlantStuart, FL2 of 2160.0 ppt19,000
Newburgh City*Newburgh, NY4 of 4150.0 ppt28,000
Issaquah Water System*Issaquah, WA2 of 8139.3 ppt22,926
Cleveland Heights City PWSCleveland Heights, OH1 of 3133.3 ppt46,000
Barnstable Water Company (Hyannis)Hyannis, MA9 of 14101.1 ppt35,000
OakdaleOakdale, MN6 of 1295.9 ppt27,378
Rome*Rome, GA4 of 495.0 ppt45,586
Wright-Patterson AFB Area A PWSWright Patterson Afb, OH4 of 885.0 ppt16,551
Artesian Water Company*Newark, DE4 of 3684.4 ppt301,000
Warminster Municipal Authority*Warminster, PA10 of 3872.8 ppt40,000
BemidjiBemidji, MN1 of 266.5 ppt13,560
Horsham Water&sewer Authority*Horsham, PA7 of 3461.7 ppt25,000
City of Ocala*Ocala, FL2 of 250.5 ppt50,924
City of North Miami*North Miami, FL2 of 250.0 ppt80,000
FKAA J. Robert Dean Water Treatment PlantFlorida City, FL2 of 248.5 ppt86,000
Warrington Twp Water&sew Dept*Warrington, PA3 of 1748.4 ppt18,400
West Morgan-East Lawrence Water Authority*Decatur, AL2 of 445.0 ppt26,130
United Water PennsylvaniaHarrisburg, PA1 of 940.3 ppt97,645
V.A.W. Water System, Inc*Vinemont, AL4 of 840.0 ppt29,985
Gadsden Water Works and Sewer Board*Gadsden, AL3 of 435.0 ppt44,637
Widefield WSD*Colorado Springs, CO6 of 1734.6 ppt19,000
Montebello Land & Water CompanyMontebello, CA4 of 634.3 ppt32,219
Liberty Water Lpsco*Avondale, AZ2 of 1234.2 ppt45,298
Sanford Water DistrictSanford, ME2 of 1633.8 ppt14,025
Atlantic City Municipal Utilities Authority*Atlantic City, NJ5 of 732.9 ppt152,415
FreeportFreeport, IL1 of 630.0 ppt26,443
City of Martinsburg*Martinsburg, WV3 of 829.9 ppt15,652
City of Miami BeachMiami Beach, FL1 of 229.0 ppt87,933

* This water utility supplies finished drinking water to at least one other water utility. The purchasing utility is not required to test for or report Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), but it likely has the contaminant in its water supply.

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LESS
UtilityLocationTestsAverage levelPeople served
Security Waster DistrictColorado Springs, CO35 of 38169.7 ppt19,000
City of Stuart - Water PlantStuart, FL2 of 2160.0 ppt19,000
Newburgh City*Newburgh, NY4 of 4150.0 ppt28,000
Issaquah Water System*Issaquah, WA2 of 8139.3 ppt22,926
Cleveland Heights City PWSCleveland Heights, OH1 of 3133.3 ppt46,000
Barnstable Water Company (Hyannis)Hyannis, MA9 of 14101.1 ppt35,000
OakdaleOakdale, MN6 of 1295.9 ppt27,378
Rome*Rome, GA4 of 495.0 ppt45,586
Wright-Patterson AFB Area A PWSWright Patterson Afb, OH4 of 885.0 ppt16,551
Artesian Water Company*Newark, DE4 of 3684.4 ppt301,000
Warminster Municipal Authority*Warminster, PA10 of 3872.8 ppt40,000
BemidjiBemidji, MN1 of 266.5 ppt13,560
Horsham Water&sewer Authority*Horsham, PA7 of 3461.7 ppt25,000
City of Ocala*Ocala, FL2 of 250.5 ppt50,924
City of North Miami*North Miami, FL2 of 250.0 ppt80,000
FKAA J. Robert Dean Water Treatment PlantFlorida City, FL2 of 248.5 ppt86,000
Warrington Twp Water&sew Dept*Warrington, PA3 of 1748.4 ppt18,400
West Morgan-East Lawrence Water Authority*Decatur, AL2 of 445.0 ppt26,130
United Water PennsylvaniaHarrisburg, PA1 of 940.3 ppt97,645
V.A.W. Water System, Inc*Vinemont, AL4 of 840.0 ppt29,985
Gadsden Water Works and Sewer Board*Gadsden, AL3 of 435.0 ppt44,637
Widefield WSD*Colorado Springs, CO6 of 1734.6 ppt19,000
Montebello Land & Water CompanyMontebello, CA4 of 634.3 ppt32,219
Liberty Water Lpsco*Avondale, AZ2 of 1234.2 ppt45,298
Sanford Water DistrictSanford, ME2 of 1633.8 ppt14,025
Atlantic City Municipal Utilities Authority*Atlantic City, NJ5 of 732.9 ppt152,415
FreeportFreeport, IL1 of 630.0 ppt26,443
City of Martinsburg*Martinsburg, WV3 of 829.9 ppt15,652
City of Miami BeachMiami Beach, FL1 of 229.0 ppt87,933
Plainfield TownshipGrand Rapids, MI2 of 427.5 ppt40,891

* This water utility supplies finished drinking water to at least one other water utility. The purchasing utility is not required to test for or report Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), but it likely has the contaminant in its water supply.

MORE
LESS