Water Online

January 2017

Water Innovations gives Water and Wastewater Engineers and end-users a venue to find project solutions and source valuable product information. We aim to educate the engineering and operations community on important issues and trends.

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treatability, and detection methods," said Dr. Keith Cooper, academic governor for NJDWQI and professor of toxicology at Rutgers University. "NJDWQI potential health-based MCL were based on sensitive and well-established animal toxicology endpoints that are considered relevant to humans based on mode of action data." NJDWQI shared its findings from that analysis in a September presentation. In regards to the EPA's 70 ppt advisory for PFOA, the publicly available PowerPoint from that presentation reads, "It cannot be concluded that exposure to these drinking water concentrations is protective of the most sensitive populations with a margin of exposure." Among the conclusions shared in NJDWQI's public report on PFOA were that continued exposure to even relatively low levels of PFOA in drinking water is known to cause substantial increases in PFOA in blood serum and that the considerable evidence for increased risk of health effects from low-level PFOA exposure suggests a need for caution. Ultimately, the NJDWQI concluded that a 14 ppt MCL would be more appropriate. Cooper did not want to speculate as to how the EPA should determine its health advisories. He did, however, laud the NJDWQI's approach to determining its own MCL. "In many instances, it is not the approach as much as it is the specific studies and endpoints used and the risk assumptions applied that you have differences between groups," he said. "The NJDWQI gains its strength by having a diverse group of experts working on a single compound. The evaluation is based on the science and does not become influenced by the policy issues." How To Respond When asked how it responds to those calling for stricter limits on PFOA and PFOS, the EPA reiterated its criteria for regulating contaminants under the SDWA — its potential for adverse health effects, frequency at levels of public health concern, and whether or not there is a meaningful opportunity for health risk reduction at public water systems — and indicating its evaluation of the chemicals is ongoing. For those concerned about their exposure to PFASs in drinking water, it may not be wise to wait for federal regulations to tighten. For the time being, individual water systems and institutes like the NJDWQI stand the best chance of protecting consumers from undue exposure. Local options include closing contaminated wells and changing blending rates or treatment with activated carbon or high-pressure membrane systems. In any case, it is worth finding out for yourself. n wateronline.com n Water Innovations 13 EMERGINGCONTAMINANTS Membrane 2017 CONFERENCE & EXPOSITION Technology February 13–17, 2017 Long Beach Convention Center Long Beach, California Join AWWA and AMTA to explore how the latest developments in membrane technology can enhance water reliability and quality. Each year the conference reveals new directions in water and wastewater treatment technologies, desalting and membrane bioreactor applications. Register Today! www.awwa.org/amta/Membrane2017 Presented by America's Authority in Membrane Treatment Improving America's Waters Through Membrane Treatment and Desalting Peter Chawaga is the associate editor for Water Online. He creates and manages engaging and relevant content on a variety of water and wastewater industry topics. Chawaga has worked as a reporter and editor in newsrooms throughout the country and holds a bachelor's degree in English and a minor in Journalism. He can be reached at pchawaga@wateronline.com. About The Author

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