State officials late Friday released their first results of water quality samples and an updated preliminary health assessment for concentrations of the unregulated compound GenX in finished, or treated, drinking water.
Samples were analyzed at the U.S. EPA lab in Research Triangle Park, and at Test America, a lab in Colorado under contract to Chemours.
The latest results mirror those from the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority, with levels in the 68 to 125 parts per trillion range. Those levels are well below what Dr. Detlef Knappe found three years ago, when his team recorded levels at above 600 parts per trillion.
The company responsible for GenX, Chemours, says it stopped discharging the chemical into the river in June.
Meanwhile the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services updated its risk assessment for GenX.
The revised health goal for exposure to GenX in drinking water is 140 parts per trillion. It had been set at 70,000 parts per trillion.
This means if GenX concentrations in drinking water are kept below 140 parts per trillion, no adverse health effects would be expected over a lifetime of exposure to the most vulnerable population, including infants and pregnant women, the DHHS stated.
The findings reflect water quality data from samples collected at 13 sites in the Fayetteville and Wilmington areas between June 19 and July 6. Results show higher concentrations near the point where Chemours’ Fayetteville manufacturing facility was discharging GenX into the Cape Fear River, and lower concentrations at the public water supply systems near the facility and 70 miles downstream in the Wilmington area.
This Wednesday, July 19, WHQR will host a community forum on this topic with WWAY and the StarNews, in Brunswick County.