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California Proposes Limits for PFOA and PFOS in Drinking Water

California State House

The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) announced the release of a draft document that describes proposed Public Health Goals (PHGs) for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) in drinking water.  A PHG is the level of a drinking water contaminant at which adverse health effects are not expected to occur from a lifetime of exposure and is considered by the State Water Resources Control Board in setting drinking water regulatory standards.

The proposed “limits” in drinking water are 0.007 parts per trillion (ppt) for PFOA (based on kidney cancer in humans) and 1 ppt for PFOS (based on liver and pancreatic tumors in laboratory animals).  The proposed noncancer health-protective concentrations are 3 ppt for PFOA (based on increased risk of liver damage in humans) and 3 ppt for PFOS (based on increased total cholesterol in humans). 

Comments on the draft document are due by September 28, 2021.