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Letter: The facts about PFAS


Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Jim Roche should have educated himself on per- and poly-fluoroalkyls (PFAS) before submitting his op-ed (Monitor Forum, Nov. 29). PFAS is a class of synthetic chemicals not found in nature that have leeched into groundwater. The EPA and manufacturers agreed to phase out PFOA, the first of the PFAS class of chemicals, due to suspected carcinogenicity. Contrary to what Roche states, other PFAS chemicals remain on the market and continue to contaminate our soil, air and water.

Roche claims that lower detection limits are unreasonably driving the public outcry for stricter water standards and that setting those standards should be based on science. Actually, a federal public health agency, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, studied the link between PFAS in drinking water and negative health impacts. It reports this month that the current EPA level of 70 ppt is more than three times the level that is deemed safe for a child. Does Roche expect us to wait for the EPA to catch up to the science to protect our water? It took the EPA 20 years to ban dioxin. New Hampshire should not wait until our pediatric cancer rates soar (they are already the highest in the country) to protect our water from PFAS.

Despite the spin that Roche places on science and facts, what is most troubling is his position that it is okay for synthetic chemicals to persist and accumulate in our water. Instead, Roche should work to ensure that businesses operate responsibly.

ROSEMARIE L. RUNG

Merrimack