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The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection oficially published it's adoption of stringent, health-based drinking water standards for perfluorooctanoic (PFOA) and perffluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) chemicals that are extremely persistent in the environment and have been linked to various health problems in peolple.

Under rules published in the New Jersey Register, the DEP formally established maximum contaminant levels, or MCl's, of 14 parts per trillion for PFOA and 13 parts per trillion for PFOS. The rules also add these chemicals to the states list of hazardous substances and sets these levels as formal standards for the purpouses of site remediation. PFOA and PFOS belong to a large class of synthetic chemicals kown as per-andpolyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS. 2018 the MCL for perfluorononanoic acid or PFNA was set at 13 parts per trillion. Federal government has not established MCL for PFAS to date.

The adopted standards are based, in part, on recommendations made by the New Jersey Drinking Water Quality Institute, by experts that reviewed numerous studies to support the stringent levels. Treatment technologies exist to effectively remove these chemicals from drinking water and are already in use throughout New Jersey. 

December 1, 2021, private well owners will be required to test for PFOA, PFOS, and PFNA under the requirements of the states Private Wel Testing Act (NJPWTA) which mandates testing during real estate transactions for private residences and periodic testing for rental properties. 

Thousands of PFAS have been developed and used over the years, sme of the most common were PFOA and PFOS. Both were previously used in aqueous film forming foams for firefighting and training at military and civilian sites and are found in consumer products such as stain-resistant coatings for upholstery and carpets, water resistant outdoor clothing, and grease proof food packagng. PFOA has also been used as a processing aid in manufacture of fluoropolymers used in non-stick cookware and other pruducts while PFOS was used in metal plating and finishing.

The durability that made hese substances so popular means that these chemicals do not break down in the environment and accumulate over time in people. Health affects of concern for PFOA, PFOS and other types of PFAS include impacts on the liver, decrease immune system response to vaccines, delaysin growth and developement of fetuses and infants, and for PFOA and PFOS, and increased risk of cancer.