Begin Main Content Area

PFOA and PFOS Drinking Water Health Advisories in Pennsylvania

On May 19, 2016, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established health advisories for PFOA and PFOS.

Health advisories (HA) provide information on contaminants that can cause human health effects and are known or anticipated to occur in drinking water. EPA's health advisories are non-enforceable and non-regulatory and provide technical information to state agencies and other public health officials on health effects, analytical methodologies, and treatment technologies associated with drinking water contamination. EPA's health advisory level for PFOA and PFOS offers a margin of protection for all Americans throughout their life from adverse health efforts resulting from exposure to PFOA and PFOS in drinking water.

To provide Americans, including the most sensitive populations, with a margin of protection from a lifetime of exposure to PFOA and PFOS from drinking water, EPA has established the health advisory levels at 70 parts per trillion (ppt). When both PFOA and PFOS are found in drinking water, the combined concentrations of PFOA and PFOS should not exceed the 70 ppt HA.

Under authority of the Pennsylvania Safe Drinking Water Act and regulations, DEP has the authority to require corrective actions on a case-by-case basis for a public water system in which an unregulated contaminant is present and creates a risk to public health. As per long-standing protocol, DEP utilizes EPA's HAs to determine risk to public health.

At this time, DEP does not intend to deviate from the health advisories EPA has established for PFOA and PFOS. More information on setting a state MCL can be found here.