Recently released guidelines from the federal government’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry suggest minimum risk levels for PFAS compounds like those found in the private wells and groundwater locally are up to ten times lower than the health advisory level put out by the EPA. Wednesday’s draft report states concentrations above 7 ppt (parts-per-trillion) of PFOS and 11 ppt of PFOA could pose a threat to human health, including liver and thyroid damage, as well as other potential immune, reproductive, and developmental effects. The EPA set their health advisory level at 70 ppt, which was the baseline used by Tyco in their well and groundwater sampling for contamination released by the manufacturing and testing of firefighting foams in and around Marinette.
Of the groundwater and well water sites sampled in the Town of Peshtigo, 8 had PFAS contamination above the EPA’s health advisory level. However, as many as two dozen more could be added to that list if the ATSDR’s new guidelines are adopted. Tyco has also reported evidence of contamination in the ground water at their Stanton Street facility in Marinette, although the concentration of the compounds there was not released.
The ATSDR’s draft report is now open for public comment. You can find the complete report here.