DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) – Industrial chemicals which have been linked to a range of health problems have been found in the drinking water of dozens of U.S. cities, including the Iowa Quad Cities.
A study released Wednesday by Environmental Working Group (EWG), an environmental research and advocacy group, found PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) at more than 40 locations in 31 states, according to a PBS NewsHour report.
Some kinds of PFAS chemicals are known as “forever chemicals” because the man-made substances, which are found in consumer products such as nonstick cookware and food packaging, virtually never biodegrade.
Certain cancers, liver damage, and low birth weight have been previously linked to some PFAS chemicals, according to Reuters.
Researchers sampled drinking water between May and December of 2019, and those samples were then analyzed by a third-party laboratory for 30 different chemicals in the PFAS family.
The EWG study reports two samples, one collected in Brunswick County, North Carolina, and the other in the Iowa Quad Cities, were found to contain PFAS concentrations above the Environmental Protection Agency’s health advisory of 70 parts per trillion.
Researchers are not sure what specific health effects a person might experience as a result of drinking water that contains a combination of different PFAS, partly because there are nearly 5,000 different chemicals in the PFAS family, and only a handful of them have been studied, PBS NewsHour reported.
Iowa American Water is disputing the findings of a water quality report that revealed high levels of toxic chemicals in a single drinking water sample in Davenport.