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Water Quality Association Provides Quick Facts on PFOA & PFOS 

Lisle, Illinois – The Water Quality Association (WQA), an Illinois-based not-for-profit organization, has compiled quick facts on Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS) in drinking water.

What are PFOA and PFOS?
PFOA and PFOS are man-made and are not found naturally in the environment.

  • PFOS is commonly used as a simple salt (such as potassium, sodium, or ammonium) or is incorporated into larger polymers.
  • PFOA is produced synthetically as salt. Ammonium salt is the most widely produced form.

What are the potential health effects from PFOA and PFOS?
Studies have found PFOA and PFOS in the blood samples of the general human population and wildlife nationwide, indicating exposure to the chemical is widespread. Studies also indicate that continued exposure to low levels of PFOA in drinking water may result in adverse health effects.

For more information, please visit:
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Draft Toxicological Profile for Perfluoroalkyls

EPA Factsheet on PFOA and PFOS

How are these contaminants regulated?
The EPA Provisional Health Advisory (PHA) is 0.2 micrograms per liter (ug/L) for PFOS and 0.4 ug/L for PFOA. PHAs reflect reasonable, health-based hazard concentrations above which action should be taken to reduce exposure to unregulated contaminants in drinking water.

Multiple states are also regulating these contaminants, including:

  • Minnesota's chronic health risk limit is 0.3 ug/L for PFOS and PFOA in drinking water.
  • New Jersey's preliminary health-based guidance value is 0.04 ug/L for PFOA in drinking water. 

Facts to consider when selecting treatment:
Have water tested by a water treatment professional or certified lab.

WQA recommends products that have been certified for PFOA removal. A list of products that have been certified by WQA can be found here.

Minnesota has also looked at evaluating treatment devices for PFCs removal. The evaluation can be found here.