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New Study Finds PFOA Levels in Drinking Water Are Safe
Date:3/12/2009

BETHESDA, Md., March 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The Sapphire Group today released the results of a new study which found that levels of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) found in drinking water supplies are safe for human exposure. PFOA, sometimes referred to as C8, is a substance used in the manufacture of a variety of non-stick and stain resistant protective coatings.

Concentrations of PFOA found in drinking water supplies range from less than the detectable limit of 7.5 parts per trillion to 3.5 parts per billion near some manufacturing facilities. Studies of workers exposed to high concentrations of PFOA in manufacturing facilities have found no increase in the incidence of adverse health effects.

The Sapphire Group's examination of 239 peer reviewed human and animal studies found a safe level of lifetime exposure to PFOA in drinking water to be up to 6.5 parts per billion. One part per billion is the equivalent of one drop dissolved in 14,000 gallons of water. One part per trillion is the equivalent of a half drop dissolved in a 660 thousand gallon Olympic swimming pool.

"Our comprehensive examination, analysis, and integration of data from the available human and laboratory animal studies found that exposure to PFOA at the levels found in drinking water supplies today has no adverse effect on human health," said Dr. Robert G. Tardiff, the study's principal author and a former chief toxicologist for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

"Over the past decade, levels of PFOA found in drinking water have been falling steadily, in part because of a more than 90 percent reduction in PFOA emissions from manufacturing facilities. PFOA can be completely removed from drinking water supplies with a granular activated carbon filter. Unlike some other chemicals, PFOA does not accumulate in the human body. As PFOA levels in the environment continue to decline, levels in humans will also decrease," Tardiff added.

The Sapphire Group study, which was funded by Dupont and 3M, has been submitted to the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology for peer review and publication.

Headquartered in the Washington, DC corridor of Bethesda, Maryland, The Sapphire Group provides health science integrated risk management consulting worldwide. The firm's experience spans more than 30 years in such specific arenas as drinking water and air quality as well as hundreds of chemical products encompassing such critical concerns as children's health, reproductive function, and cancer causation.

Robert G. Tardiff, Ph.D., ATS, co-founder, president and CEO of The Sapphire Group, is an internationally recognized expert in toxicology and risk assessment. Previously, he was Chief of the Toxicological Assessment Branch of the U.S. EPA and executive director of the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council Board on Toxicology and Environmental Health Hazards. Dr. Tardiff is also a fellow of the Academy of Toxicological Sciences.

    CONTACT:
    Bruce Fryer (202) 973-5316


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SOURCE The Sapphire Group
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