the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, Ridgewood Water is once again in violation of two New Jersey drinking water standards . Ridgewood Water exceeded the PFOS at 13 parts per trillion and PFOA at 14 parts per trillion mandated MCL safety limit. An MCL is the highest allowable concentration of a contaminant in water delivered to a user of a public drinking water supply. (Milligrams per liter)MCLs apply to public water systems, including public community and public nontransient noncommunity water systems. Public community and public nontransient noncommunity water systems are required to routinely monitor for contaminants for which MCLs have been established and to take any action necessary to bring the water into compliance with an MCL.
This comes just a little over 6 months since U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer and Ridgewood Water announced a request for federal investment to improve water treatment in order to combat “forever chemicals” harming the local water supply. The publicly-owned utility has already spent several million dollars installing treatment technologies, but more investment is needed for Ridgewood Water to fully build the necessary drinking water treatment facilities to address lead in the water, PFAS, and other forever chemicals . Simultaneously the opening of high density housing in the Ridgewood’s Central Business District increasing demand for water when previously supply fell far short of meeting overall usage .
PFAS are a large group of manmade chemicals which repel water and oil and are resistant to heat and chemical reactions. Because of these properties, they have important industrial and commercial uses. PFAS are used in the production of some non-stick cookware, in waterproof and stain proof coatings, in “leak-proof” coatings on food packaging materials, in fire-fighting foams, and other applications. PFAS can enter drinking water through industrial release to water, air, or soil; discharges from sewage treatment plants; land application of contaminated sludge; leaching from landfills; and use of certain firefighting foams. Four types of PFAS have been found in the blood (serum) of greater than 98% of the United States population. These long-chain PFAS build up and stay in the human body for many years. The levels decrease very slowly over time after exposure is reduced or stopped. • PFOS: perfluorooctane sulfonate • PFOA: perfluorooctanoic acid • PFNA: perfluorononanoic acid • PFHxS: perfluorohexane sulfonate.
Some studies of the general population, communities with PFAS contaminated drinking water, and exposed workers suggest that exposure to PFAS increases the risk of a number of health effects. Health effects from PFAS are observed even within the general population without exposure to PFAS from contaminated drinking water. The most consistent human health effect findings for PFOA and PFOS – the most well studied of the PFAS types – are increases in serum cholesterol and uric acid levels in the blood and decreased antibody response following vaccination, as well as increased blood levels of some liver enzymes for PFOA. Although not as well studied, PFNA appears to increase blood levels of cholesterol and some liver enzymes. Human health effects are generally consistent with the toxicity of PFAS observed in laboratory animals. PFOA and PFOS caused tumors in rodents, while PFNA has not been tested for this effect. In humans, PFOA exposure was associated with a higher incidence of kidney cancer in both the general population and in a community with substantial levels of PFOA in drinking water, and with testicular cancer in the community with contaminated drinking water