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Illinois EPA Issues Health Advisory for Perfluorononanoic Acid
Illinois Ag Connection - 07/29/2021

Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Director John J. Kim announced the issuance of a health advisory for Perfluorononanoic Acid (PFNA) in accordance with Illinois groundwater regulations. Health advisories are issued when there is detection of a chemical substance(s) harmful to human health for which no numeric groundwater standard(s) exists, and resampling confirms the presence in a community water supply well (35 Ill. Adm. Code 620.605).

On January 28, 2021, Illinois EPA issued health advisories for four chemicals included in the family of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), often referred to as "forever chemicals" because of their persistence over time in surface water and groundwater. On April 15, 2021, a health advisory was issued for a fifth chemical in the PFAS family and one of the initial health advisories was also updated. As with the previous health advisories, PFNA is a compound in the PFAS family of chemicals. Each health advisory contains a general description of the chemical, information on carcinogenicity and potential adverse health effects, and a guidance level.

The health advisories are published in the Environmental Register, a publication of the Illinois Pollution Control Board, and placed at https://pcb.illinois.gov/Resources/News. The health advisories are also available on the Illinois EPA website https://www2.illinois.gov/epa/.

The guidance level contained in each of the health advisories is not an enforceable groundwater or drinking water standard. However, the Illinois EPA will use the health advisory guidance levels and data gathered from the statewide drinking water investigation in the development of enforceable drinking water standards for PFAS known as Maximum Contaminant Levels.

"The Illinois EPA has established these health advisory guidance levels by evaluating current scientific methods and toxicity data to develop health-based protective values," said Director Kim. "While they are not enforceable, they do aid community water supplies in determining next steps, and the data will be used to establish needed drinking water standards in Illinois for PFAS chemicals."

The statewide PFAS investigation, which began in September 2020, is expected to be completed in the fall of 2021. The Illinois EPA is sampling drinking water at every community water supply in Illinois. If PFAS chemicals are confirmed at concentrations above laboratory minimum reporting levels, the Illinois EPA works directly with those community water supplies to ensure residents are informed and to determine next steps for reducing exposure. To date, Illinois EPA has collected samples from 1,243 community water supplies in Illinois. An additional 201 systems will be sampled as the investigation continues. A complete listing of sample results to date is available on the interactive map established by Illinois EPA at: https://bit.ly/3j0ZujW.

For additional information, please visit the Statewide PFAS Investigation Network webpage at https://bit.ly/2WyfnGY


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