The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) of the California Environmental Protection Agency has released a second draft – a technical support document for proposed Public Health Goals (PHGs) for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) in drinking water.

On July 14, 2023, OEHHA announced the release of the second draft – the technical support document for the proposed PHGs for PFOA and PFOS in the California Regulatory Notice Register. The feedback period will close on August 14, 2023.

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) have been widely utilized in industrial and consumer items for more than a half-century, with PFOA in nonstick cookware and PFOS in stain and water-repellant textiles and fire-fighting foams. 

Following concerns about their extraordinary persistence in the environment and detection in practically all human blood serum tests, the manufacturing of these compounds was phased down in the United States. Although levels in the environment have decreased since their peak around the year 2000, PFOA and PFOS are still prevalent and are identified in California drinking water. Because exposure to these substances is so common and elimination durations are so long, it is vital to comprehend the toxicity of these compounds. 

Goals for Public Health Proposals and Concentrations for Health Protection:

HPC – health-protective concentration
PHG – public health goal.  PHGs serve as the health foundation for California’s Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs), which are set by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB).  

Evaluation of Exposure Parameters: 
Assumptions about how much water individuals consume during the calculation of the PHGs and the calculation of the HPCs for noncancer impacts proportion of exposures to a chemical caused by the relative source contribution. Tap water is included in the overall exposure from all sources, including food, in the calculation. OEHHA discovered that several factors, including a higher percentage of jobs performed in outdoor settings for longer periods throughout the year (e.g., farm work and construction), lifestyle, and recreation, may mean that the US EPA’s updated drinking water intake rates are not representative of Californians. 


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