Non-stick chemicals in NJ drinking water: Updated

    Drinking water has a lot more going on than H2O. Recent surveys have found hormones, antidepressants, and now, chemicals used in making non-stick cookware.

    Drinking water has a lot more going on than H2O. Recent surveys have found hormones, antidepressants, and now, chemicals used in making non-stick cookware.
    (Photo: Flickr/massdistraction)

    Update: NJN has reported that PFOA has been found in New Jersey well water. [Video no longer available]

    Listen:

    [audio:090518kgpfoa.mp3]

    PFOA is used to make Teflon and other coatings. Scientists in New Jersey found the chemical in municipal drinking water in Gloucester and Salem counties, along with about a dozen others. The DuPont plant in South Jersey uses PFOA. Jane Nogaki, the vice chair of the New Jersey Environmental Federation says she was surprised by the prevalence of PFOA.

    Nogaki: We expected that it might be found right around the plant, in the perimeter. But we were surprised that it would be found in wells several miles away in municipal wells.

    Rutgers professor Keith Cooper, who was part of the study, says the levels he observed are concerning because the chemical can stick around in humans.

    Cooper: Anytime you have a compound that can bio-accumulate and has a very long half life in the blood of humans has the potential to cause problems.

    Cooper says drinking water concentrations should be lower than current federal guidelines. In a statement, DuPont says it will provide bottled water if communities exceed those federal guidelines. None have so far. Cooper says PFOA can accumulate in the blood to concentrations 100 times that of drinking water.The chemical is known to have negative health effects in animals, but researchers are still studying the effects on humans. DuPont is phasing out PFOA by 2015.

    Read the study here

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