The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing an updated and validated way to test for an additional four per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water, including the GenX chemical, hexafluoropropylene oxide dimer acid (HFPO-DA). PFAS are man-made chemicals used in a wide range of products because of their ability to repel water, grease, and oil. They are found in everyday items such as food packaging and non-stick, stain repellent, and waterproof products including clothing and other products used by outdoor enthusiasts. Today’s updated tools are part of EPA’s efforts to increase the amount of research and information that is publicly available for chemicals in the PFAS family.
”EPA’s validated method, EPA Method 537.1, will ensure that both government and private laboratories can accurately and consistently measure 18 PFAS in their drinking water, which is a critical step for estimating people’s exposure and potential risk to PFAS,” said EPA Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for Science, Jennifer Orme-Zavaleta. “This affirms EPA’s commitment to providing ways for states and tribes to address PFAS in their communities.”
Additionally, EPA is providing information that will help states, tribes, and local communities make the best choices about how to treat PFAS contaminated drinking water based on their specific needs. EPA has evaluated the effectiveness of several drinking water treatment technologies to remove a variety of PFAS. EPA has also evaluated costs associated with the drinking water technologies based on the type of PFAS that need to be treated.
EPA is continuing to work to develop a PFAS Management Plan that will provide the Agency’s approach to addressing PFAS challenges and will be released as soon as possible. While the updated methods are part of the management plan, the Agency is releasing them now to ensure that communities across the country have access to this information as soon as it is available.
PFAS are a group of man-made chemicals that have been manufactured and used in a variety of industries since the 1940s. They are found in everyday items such as food packaging and non-stick, stain repellent, and waterproof products including clothing and other products used by outdoor enthusiasts. EPA’s drinking water treatability database includes treatment options for PFAS, including GenX chemicals.
EPA Method 537, which was first published in 2009 to initially determine 14 different PFAS in drinking water, has been updated to include 4 more PFAS. This includes the GenX chemical HFPO-DA, as well as three additional PFAS [11-chloroeicosafluoro-3-oxaundecane-1-sulfonic acid (11Cl-PF3OUdS), 9-chlorohexadecafluoro-3-oxanone-1-sulfonic acid (9Cl-PF3ONS), and 4,8-dioxa-3H-perfluorononanoic acid (ADONA)].