[Scientific Poster] Per-and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances: A Preliminary Evaluation of Groundwater Contamination in the Western States

By Carter Daniel Johnson
August 15, 2022

Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) are a manufactured group of chemicals that have been used since the 1940s. PFAS break down very slowly and studies show that exposure to these chemicals may cause negative reproductive effects, developmental delays in children, increased risk of some cancers, and interference with the body’s natural hormones. On June 15, 2022, EPA issued interim updated drinking water health advisories for the two most widely studied PFAS, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS). The concentrations for the health advisory limits are 0.004 parts per trillion (ppt) and 0.02 ppt respectively. Because data is often reported in combined PFOA and PFOS concentrations, and for ease of data visualization, concentrations of the two chemicals will be discussed as a single, summed value and will be compared to the combined health advisory limits of 0.024 ppt. Due to the recently published near-zero health advisory limits and the known negative health effects, a map of estimated PFAS groundwater contamination will be useful in informing the public and determining which regions are most at-risk


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