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Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)

Status: No national drinking water standard exists

 

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is a member of a group of perfluorinated chemicals used in many consumer products. PFOA 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

27

states detected

221

utilities detected

7.5 million

people served

27

states over health guideline

219

utilities over health guideline

7.5 million

people served over health guideline

Health concerns for PFOA

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 PFOA 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 PFOA in drinking water

UTILITIES REPORTING ABOVE HEALTH GUIDELINES UTILITIES WITH CONTAMINATION
State UtilitiesPeople Served UtilitiesPeople Served
New Jersey251,622,960251,622,960
California221,557,883221,557,883
Kentucky3773,2573773,257
Alabama37442,44337442,443
Delaware3404,3103404,310
Florida6393,0376393,037
North Carolina22274,88924300,662
Pennsylvania13239,81313239,813
Arizona5233,2965233,296
New York5175,7005175,700
Tennessee5173,9305173,930
Georgia10154,58410154,584
Minnesota5153,4125153,412
Illinois16151,68316151,683
Massachusetts5136,7195136,719
Maryland4116,5384116,538
Ohio484,927484,927
Colorado661,907661,907
Washington360,471360,471
Rhode Island259,900259,900
New Hampshire454,230454,230
West Virginia348,176348,176
Virginia347,863347,863
Wisconsin131,500131,500
South Carolina125,284125,284
Oklahoma420,495420,495
Texas216,268216,268
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Utilities with the highest amounts of PFOA, 2010-2015

ALL UTILITIES
LARGE UTILITIES
UtilityLocationTestsAverage levelPeople served
City of Vienna*Vienna, WV6 of 695.0 ppt12,507
OakdaleOakdale, MN6 of 1280.9 ppt27,378
Rome*Rome, GA4 of 455.0 ppt45,586
Parkersburg Water DepartmentParkersburg, WV2 of 252.2 ppt34,251
Security Waster DistrictColorado Springs, CO34 of 3847.1 ppt19,000
South Orange Water DepartmentSouth Orange, NJ3 of 733.7 ppt16,964
Warminster Municipal Authority*Warminster, PA13 of 3831.0 ppt40,000
Oatman Water CompanyScottsdale, AZ2 of 231.0 ppt536
Rainbow City Utilities Board*Rainbow City, AL4 of 430.0 ppt11,748
Gadsden Water Works and Sewer Board*Gadsden, AL4 of 430.0 ppt44,637
City of FountainFountain, CO9 of 1226.7 ppt21,000
Montclair Water Bureau*Montclair, NJ6 of 1025.9 ppt37,669
United Water RahwayHighland Lakes, NJ4 of 425.8 ppt27,300
West Morgan-East Lawrence Water Authority*Decatur, AL1 of 425.0 ppt26,130
United Water Delaware*Wilmington, DE2 of 419.1 ppt97,310
Bethany*Bethany, OK2 of 418.5 ppt20,307
Widefield WSD*Colorado Springs, CO9 of 1718.1 ppt19,000
Artesian Water Company*Newark, DE10 of 3616.9 ppt301,000
V.A.W. Water System, Inc*Vinemont, AL3 of 816.3 ppt29,985
Calhoun*Calhoun, GA5 of 816.3 ppt49,088
Hudson Water SupplyHudson, MA2 of 615.0 ppt18,557
Southside Water Works*Southside, AL4 of 815.0 ppt10,998
Orange Water DepartmentOrange, NJ1 of 314.7 ppt33,000
Garfield Water DepartmentGarfield City, NJ4 of 814.1 ppt30,487
NJ American Water - Raritan*Shamong, NJ16 of 3613.9 ppt609,305
Fair Lawn Water DepartmentFair Lawn Boro, NJ8 of 1613.8 ppt31,000
Dupont Water System, City OfDupont, WA3 of 613.5 ppt8,430
Dover Water DepartmentDover, NH1 of 513.4 ppt28,000
Horsham Water&sewer Authority*Horsham, PA6 of 3413.2 ppt25,000
City of Dunn*Erwin, NC2 of 412.5 ppt11,747

* 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 Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), but it likely has the contaminant in its water supply.

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UtilityLocationTestsAverage levelPeople served
City of Vienna*Vienna, WV6 of 695.0 ppt12,507
OakdaleOakdale, MN6 of 1280.9 ppt27,378
Rome*Rome, GA4 of 455.0 ppt45,586
Parkersburg Water DepartmentParkersburg, WV2 of 252.2 ppt34,251
Security Waster DistrictColorado Springs, CO34 of 3847.1 ppt19,000
South Orange Water DepartmentSouth Orange, NJ3 of 733.7 ppt16,964
Warminster Municipal Authority*Warminster, PA13 of 3831.0 ppt40,000
Rainbow City Utilities Board*Rainbow City, AL4 of 430.0 ppt11,748
Gadsden Water Works and Sewer Board*Gadsden, AL4 of 430.0 ppt44,637
City of FountainFountain, CO9 of 1226.7 ppt21,000
Montclair Water Bureau*Montclair, NJ6 of 1025.9 ppt37,669
United Water RahwayHighland Lakes, NJ4 of 425.8 ppt27,300
West Morgan-East Lawrence Water Authority*Decatur, AL1 of 425.0 ppt26,130
United Water Delaware*Wilmington, DE2 of 419.1 ppt97,310
Bethany*Bethany, OK2 of 418.5 ppt20,307
Widefield WSD*Colorado Springs, CO9 of 1718.1 ppt19,000
Artesian Water Company*Newark, DE10 of 3616.9 ppt301,000
V.A.W. Water System, Inc*Vinemont, AL3 of 816.3 ppt29,985
Calhoun*Calhoun, GA5 of 816.3 ppt49,088
Hudson Water SupplyHudson, MA2 of 615.0 ppt18,557
Southside Water Works*Southside, AL4 of 815.0 ppt10,998
Orange Water DepartmentOrange, NJ1 of 314.7 ppt33,000
Garfield Water DepartmentGarfield City, NJ4 of 814.1 ppt30,487
NJ American Water - Raritan*Shamong, NJ16 of 3613.9 ppt609,305
Fair Lawn Water DepartmentFair Lawn Boro, NJ8 of 1613.8 ppt31,000
Dover Water DepartmentDover, NH1 of 513.4 ppt28,000
Horsham Water&sewer Authority*Horsham, PA6 of 3413.2 ppt25,000
City of Dunn*Erwin, NC2 of 412.5 ppt11,747
Atlantic City Municipal Utilities Authority*Atlantic City, NJ2 of 712.0 ppt152,415
Galesburg*Galesburg, IL1 of 211.7 ppt33,706

* 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 Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), but it likely has the contaminant in its water supply.

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