The August issue of the journal “Environment International” posted an article by the US Geological Survey (USGS) titled
“Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in United States tapwater: Comparison of underserved private-well and public-supply exposures and associated health implications.” Link to copy of the article (USGS Article PFAS in Drinking Water ).
Link to USGS website announcement:
Text copied from the USGS website announcement:
“The study tested for 32 individual PFAS compounds using a method developed by the USGS National Water Quality Laboratory. The most frequently detected compounds in this study were PFBS, PFHxS and PFOA. The interim health advisories [HA] released by the EPA in 2022 for PFOS and PFOA were exceeded in every sample in which they were detected in this study.” [PFOA HA = 0.004 parts per trillion, PFOS HA = 0.02 ppt]
“Scientists collected tap water samples from 716 locations representing a range of low, medium and high human-impacted areas. The low category includes protected lands; medium includes residential and rural areas with no known PFAS sources; and high includes urban areas and locations with reported PFAS sources such as industry or waste sites.”
“Most of the exposure was observed near urban areas and potential PFAS sources. This included the Great Plains, Great Lakes, Eastern Seaboard, and Central/Southern California regions. The study’s results are in line with previous research concluding that people in urban areas have a higher likelihood of PFAS exposure. USGS scientists estimate that the probability of PFAS not being observed in tap water is about 75% in rural areas and around 25% in urban areas.”
The USGS study is getting a lot of media coverage and the focus appears to be primarily on the modeling done by USGS and on statements like the following statement from the abstract: “We estimate that at least one PFAS could be detected in about 45% of US drinking-water samples.”