Sometimes breakthroughs in technology are depressing as hell:
According to a new analysis of preserved samples from 2014 to 2016, PFAS that contain an ether molecule were found at concentrations of at least as high as 130,000 parts per trillion near Lock and Dam No. 1, near the drinking water intake for the City of Wilmington. The contamination originated at the Chemours/DuPont facility more than 80 miles upstream.
The samples at Lock and Dam No. 1 were taken in 2015 by NC State and EPA researchers. But only now, with advanced technology, can scientists more accurately measure the concentrations of PFAS in water.
Don't be fooled by the short time range of the samples; those levels have likely been that high for decades:
Since traditional water treatment methods can’t remove these compounds, they would have been present in drinking water that flowed from taps in tens of thousands of homes and businesses.
“That’s the best estimate of what people in Wilmington were drinking for 37 years prior,” NC State professor and scientist Detlef Knappe told Policy Watch.
By comparison, state health and environmental officials have recommended that no one should drink water with levels of PFAS of any type above 70 ppt combined or above 10 ppt for a single compound.
The research team of NC State professor Detlef Knappe, graduate students Chuhui Zhang, Zachary Hopkins and James McCord, and Mark Strynar of the EPA in Research Triangle Park, published their findings this month in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters. The research was partially funded by the NC Policy Collaboratory.
Tell me again how government regulations are too onerous, and how the "invisible hand" of the Free Market is much more capable of protecting us from harm? I didn't think so.