Regulatory Update: PFAS

Posted on January 25th, 2019

NJDEP is currently developing interim specific ground water quality criteria for two per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS): perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS).

These contaminants were commonly used in the manufacture of nonstick cookware, food packaging, upholstered furniture, carpets, shoes, clothing, and firefighting foams.

Studies have suggested that PFAS impact liver and immune system function, increase blood cholesterol levels, impede growth and development of fetuses and infants. PFAS may also increase the risk of certain types of cancer.

PFAS, including perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), PFOA and PFOS are extremely persistent in the environment and may remain in the body over time once absorbed through eating and drinking.

NJDEP issued a preliminary drinking water guidance level for PFOA of 0.04 parts per billion (ppb) in 2007. In May 2016, the USEPA issued a Drinking Water Health Advisory for PFOA and PFOS of 0.07 ppb, individually or as a total of the two compounds. In 2018, NJDEP became the first state to adopt a maximum contaminant level and ground water quality standard for any PFAS by setting a standard of 13 parts per trillion (ppt) for PFNA.

The public is currently being asked to provide input in order to develop protective health-based criteria reflective of the most recent and accurate toxicological information. DEP will be accepting public comments through February 19th. Interim criteria will remain in effect until NJDEP sets formal standards for ground water and drinking water.

See the following websites for additional information:

Valerie Gorman

Project Scientist

Get In Touch