“A study by the U.S. Geological Survey published in 2002 brought attention to PPCPs in water. In a sampling of 139 susceptible streams in 30 states, detectable yet minute quantities of PPCPs were found in 80 percent of the streams. The most common pharmaceuticals detected were steroids and nonprescription drugs. Antibiotics, prescription medication, detergents, fire retardants, pesticides and natural and synthetic hormones were also found.
The potential human health risks associated with minute levels of PPCPs in water in general and drinking water in particular is still being determined. Until more is known, there is much the public health and environmental protection community can do to educate the public about taking proactive steps concerning the use and disposal of PPCPs.
Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) are a diverse group of chemicals including:
- all human and veterinary drugs
- dietary supplements
- topical agents such as cosmetics and sunscreens
- laundry and cleaning products
- fragrances and all the “inert” ingredients that are part of these products
Pharmaceuticals and personal care products are introduced to the environment as pollutants in a variety of ways, including:
- intentional disposal of unneeded PPCPs (flushing)
- bathing or swimming
- discharge from municipal sewage systems or private septic systems
- leaching from landfills
- excretion by humans and domestic animals
- runoff from confined animal feeding operations
- discharge of raw sewage from storm overflow events, cruise ships, and some rural homes directly into surface water
- accidental discharges to a groundwater recharge area
- loss from aquaculture
- spray-drift from antibiotics used on food crops.”
Community Environmental Report
Your Home Health Status and Know Your H20?
Direct Link to this Nationwide Program-
Visit Us at http://www.knowyourh2o.us
Know Your H20?
We Launched Two – New Phone Apps and they are Available for IOS and Android Platforms
- Know Your H20? – Know Your H2O? is an educational tool that can help you diagnose the problem with your water. This app will lead you through a series of questions to pinpoint the issues with your water. You can reach your diagnosis through describing symptoms that are effecting your home, your health, or the water itself. This App is linked to the Water Research Portal.
- Baseline Water Testing (Pennsylvania) – The PA Baseline Testing mobile app is an educational tool for residents of Pennsylvania who are impacted by Oil & Gas Development or Subsurface Coal Development. By selecting which factor impacts your region, you can discover various recommendations and tiers of water testing that can help bring you piece of mind about the safety of your drinking water. Got Data? You can also submit your own testing data and results to help continue to build the PA Clean Water Team’s database.
The Nationwide Program
- The program helps you to identify the existing and historic environmental hazards in your community.
- We are working with a national environmental database search company to offer a report to help you understand your home or your future homes environmental health status within a community.
- We are doing this by taking a snapshot of the current and historic environmental concerns and hazards in the community and a review of select criminal activity.
- Featured Activities or Issues: Old Landfills, Leaky Fuel Tanks, Hazardous Waste Sites, Department of Defense Facilities, Superfund Sites, Radiological Sources, Clandestine Drug Labs, Floodplains and Wetlands and more.
- Report cost $ 55.00 per property, payable to the Keystone Clean Water Team.
Questions – please contact us at (570) 335-1947 or email the program manager, Mr. Brian Oram, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keystone Clean Water Team – 501c3
15 Hillcrest Drive, Dallas, PA 18612
B.F. Environmental Consultants Inc.
Starting Off the New Year Right
by Brian Oram
Happy New Year, I would like to propose we make one additional commitment this year. This commitment is to care about the water we drink as we try to remember how we impact or influence the quality and quantity of the water resources. Although it is the beginning of a new year (wishing you GOOD Luck in 2017!), for the water cycle the new year started in October. This is the time of the year when the aquifer begins to recharge. Many people are unaware that the aquifer must recharge, it is not infinite. In Pennsylvania and the Northeastern United States, we are blessed with having abundant water resources, but something we should not take for granted. In 2016, we had an interesting election year that brought up many concerns. Also in the news, came a reminder of the limitedness of the water. A number of regions of Pennsylvania were put on a drought advisory and many small streams, springs, and even a few shallow wells dried up, i.e., no water. With 2016 in the rear-view mirror, I would like to suggest a few small steps to help move us forward in a positive direction. These steps are as follows:
- Learn about how and where you get your drinking water – Does your water come from a private source or city water supply source?
- If the water is from a private well- When did you have the water tested? For parts of Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey, it is not uncommon for about 40 to 50% of private wells to have a problem that may make the user or a guest sick.
- If you are on a city water source- Have you ever looked at the Annual Confidence Report about the quality of your drinking water? The most common problem with community water sources is elevated levels of trace metals like lead and chlorine by-products like trihalomethanes, i.e., suspected carcinogens. For information on water testing, please visit water-research.net.
- Are you using your water wisely? There are ways to use our drinking water resources more efficiently. A website titled, wateruseitwisely.com, offers over 100 tips on how to best use water. My favorite tip is “Turn off the water while you brush your teeth and save up to 4 gallons a minute. That’s up to 200 gallons a week for a family of four”. There are over 4 million households in Pennsylvania, this one lifestyle change could save 41.6 billion gallons of water. This is only one change!
- Our surface water and groundwater are connected, and “we all live downstream”. This phrase means that how we use the groundwater resources directly impacts the surface water resources and we all are interconnected. Therefore, when using cleaning products, chemicals, or managing a waste we all live downstream from someone else. For example, the biggest source of man influenced global oil pollution is not massive spills or leaks. Only 8% of man influenced oil pollution comes from pipelines and major releases. The biggest sources are the small leaks from our boats, cars, and other means of transportation and the improper disposal of waste oil by individuals.
- Know Your H20? – it is important to know how you can influence the quality of the water resources, but it is also important to know the historic hazards in your community that may be contributing to a problem. With this in mind, it is important to learn about the historic hazards in your community and surrounding your home. The Keystone Clean Water Team offers neighborhood or community hazard survey reports for communities within the Unities States. The 501 c3 offers a few free reports each month. To get more information about this program, please visit – knowyourh20.us.
The best way to start off the New Year is not with a significant lifestyle change, but baby steps. Make a few basic commitments and make small changes that will help you and your family save and conserve water, check the quality of your drinking water, learn about the hazards in your community, and perhaps implement 1 item each month that will save and conserve water. It is important to remember that the less water you use, the more money stays in your pocket.
A few short phrases we should try to remember.
We ALL Live Downstream !
Groundwater and Surface water are Connected!
We are Part of the Water Cycle – Not just an Observer!
You can help – Make A Donation !
Governor Cuomo Announces Immediate State Action Plan to Address Contamination in Hoosick Falls – PFOA
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a series of immediate actions by New York State to address contamination in the Village of Hoosick Falls’ water supply and at the Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Site. These announcements follow today’s meeting between the Governor and senior state and local officials.
“We are taking immediate and aggressive actions to protect the health of Hoosick Falls residents,” said Governor Cuomo. “These actions will ensure that the source and extent of PFOA contamination is identified, and all necessary steps are taken to swiftly address the chemical’s presence. My administration is investigating this situation fully, and we will do whatever is necessary to ensure safe, clean drinking water for local residents.”
Emergency regulation issued to classify PFOA as a hazardous substance; Saint-Gobain facility to be classified as a State Superfund Site to unlock state resources and legal remedy to address contamination.
State will conduct Health Risk Analysis to establish PFOA drinking water guidance level; retest private wells in the village of Hoosick Falls; and immediately install filtration systems at school and other community gathering places
State hotline (1-800-801-8092) established to help public stay informed.
NJ – Drinking Water Guidance on PFOA – DEP also has taken the first step toward developing a preliminary drinking-water guidance value (Pdf Format) for PFOA. Based on existing animal studies and estimates derived from a lifetime of exposure (70 years), DEP identified a guidance level of .04 parts per billion (ppb). Average blood levels in the United States are approximately 5 ppb.
These actions include to:
- Issue Emergency Regulation to Classify PFOA as Hazardous Substance: The state Department of Environmental Conservation today issued an emergency regulation to classify Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), the contaminant found in the Village’s water supply, as a hazardous substance. This provides DEC with the legal authority to pursue State Superfund designation and cleanup of the site using State Superfund resources.
- Classify Saint-Gobain Facility as a State Superfund Site to Unlock State Resources to Address Contamination: Further, the state announced it will classify the Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corporation McCaffrey Street Plant and other possible sources of contamination that may be identified in Hoosick Falls as State Superfund sites to unlock state funding resources under the State Superfund Program to address the contamination in the community. DEC has already initiated its investigation and inspected the Saint-Gobain property. If in the course of its continuing investigation DEC finds any additional sources of PFOA contamination, they will also be listed. The Superfund Class 2 designation will allow the state to use State Superfund resources to investigate and clean up PFOA contamination much more quickly than waiting for a federal Superfund designation. In addition, the state will be able to seek cost recovery for the investigation and cleanup activities. DEC will collaborate closely with EPA in the investigation of PFOA in groundwater, soil and other media in Hoosick Falls to determine appropriate cleanup activities.
- Conduct Health Risk Analysis to Establish PFOA Drinking Water Guidance Level: To address the water supply contamination, the state Department of Health will conduct a risk analysis, examining the latest national research, to establish a drinking water guidance level for PFOA.
- Retest Private Wells in the Village of Hoosick Falls: In addition, the state Department of Health will retest 24 private wells in the vicinity of the Saint-Gobain facility.
- Immediately Install Filtration Systems at School and Other Community Gathering Places: Out of an abundance of caution, the state committed to installing water filtration systems at the local school, public health facilities and other community gathering places.
- Blood Testing of Community Members to Begin in Mid-February: Beginning in mid-February, DOH will begin blood testing for community members for those who wish to be tested.
- Establish State Hotline for Public to Stay Informed: Residents can contact 1-800-801-8092 for more information.
Further, once PFOA contamination is addressed, the state committed to work with the community and banks to safeguard property values.
Department of Environmental Conservation Acting Commissioner Basil Seggos said: “Under the direction of Governor Cuomo, New York State is working collaboratively with all levels of government from the EPA to the village and town, to address the contamination in Hoosick Falls. Classifying PFOA as a hazardous substance and making the Saint-Gobain site a State Superfund site will free up resources to investigate and clean up the contamination quickly. We will continue our open dialogue with local officials and the people of Hoosick Falls to ensure they are informed throughout our investigation and remediation.”
Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said: “The actions taken today by Governor Cuomo, the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Department of Health will safeguard the residents of Hoosick Falls and help address their concerns. The Department of Health will continue to test private wells, and will soon begin a blood testing program to measure residents’ exposure to PFOA. Additionally, DOH will continue to examine the latest and best scientific research to establish a drinking water guidance level for PFOA.”
Senator Kathy Marchione said: “I want to personally thank Governor Cuomo for convening this afternoon’s highly productive and positive meeting regarding Hoosick Falls. The announcement that the state recognizes the seriousness of this issue and is taking purposeful action that will help Hoosick Falls families is welcome news. Our discussion today focused on realistic solutions including the state’s regulation of PFOAs, testing of all local wells, blood testing and carbon filtration systems to help protect the health and well-being of families in Hoosick Falls. The positive steps agreed to today are welcome news for the community. I have been carefully monitoring this situation and will continue advocating for Hoosick Falls families as this process moves forward.”
Town of Hoosick Supervisor Mark Surdam said: “I am thankful for the Governor’s recognition of the problem our community is facing with its water supply, and for the actions the state taking today. I want to assure all of the residents in the Town of Hoosick that we are undergoing a tremendous effort to deal with these concerns.”
Village of Hoosick Falls Mayor David Borge said: “I am grateful for Governor Cuomo’s swift action to help our community quickly restore the use of our water supply – and am pleased by the level of coordination by state agencies responding to this issue. This is a major step forward for all residents of the greater Hoosick Falls community.”
Hoosick Falls Central School Superintendent Kenneth Facin said: “Today’s meeting with Governor Cuomo was productive and meaningful, and promises real results for our students and parents. We are appreciative to be a part of a singular, concerted effort to rectify the environmental issues surrounding our water supply. As a proactive measure to ensure the health and safety of our students, the state is assisting our school district with the installment of a carbon filtration system. We are grateful for the Governor’s leadership in galvanizing resources to assist our community.”
State’s Earlier Actions to Address PFOA Contamination
Today’s actions build upon DEC and DOH’s initiatives announced earlier this month to address the PFOA contamination to protect public health and the environment. The state urged EPA to take vigorous action on the federal level to regulate PFOA and to quickly add the Hoosick Falls site to the Superfund National Priorities List. The state, Saint-Gobain and the Village are collaboratively working on an agreement to install water treatment systems to remove hazardous chemicals from the Village’s water supply. In addition, DOH is undertaking a cancer registry study to investigate the incidence of cancer among Village residents and biomonitoring studies. Further DOH is offering PFOA biomonitoring to measure the level of PFOA in Village residents.
PFOA was detected in the Village’s public drinking water in 2014. Since then, DOH has worked closely with the Village to provide technical advice and assistance for water sampling and to evaluate water treatment options to eliminate health risks. Because the levels of PFOA in public water were higher than the EPA health advisory level, DOH determined that people should reduce their exposure by avoiding the use of tap water for drinking and cooking. In addition, DOH continues to monitor private wells and will have more results very soon.
Although the use of PFOA is being phased out, it is still used to make household and commercial products that resist heat, and repel oil, stains, grease, and water. This includes nonstick cookware, surface coatings for stain-resistant carpets and fabric, and paper and cardboard food packaging. Studies of people have associated exposure to PFOA with an increased risk for several health effects. This includes associations with effects on the liver, immune system, thyroid gland, cholesterol levels, blood pressure during pregnancy, and kidney and testicular cancer.
Lead has been a hot new topic, but not for the Keystone Clean Water Team. We have been talking about and educating the public, private well users, and city water users about lead and drinking water quality for over 30 years. Here are some suggestions to reduce lead in your drinking water.
- Flush your pipes before using the water for drinking – most of the lead in the water is not coming from the water source, but from the piping in your home or the main water line. Lead may be also coming some of the fixtures or some of the scale that as built up over time on the inside of the pipes. The longer the water has been sitting in the piping – the higher the lead content – “SO flush it out”. (How Long? – about 2 minutes or until it becomes noticeably cold). Hint- “Most of the time the source is your water pipes, NOT the main.”
- Use ONLY Cold Water for Consumption – this includes making soup, tea, coffee, etc. Hot water likely contains even more lead. Also – watch the cookware ! Glazed pottery and some glazing used tableware and cookware can contain lead and other metals, like aluminum. (Watch imported and traditional Goods and replicas !)
- Get the Water Tested – Ask the Utility to Test, Contact a Testing Laboratory, or conduct an Informational Water Test from a reliable source, but get the facts and do a first flush and flushed test for copper, lead, and zinc. If you think there is a problem and you have a private water system or well, you may want a more comprehensive test to determine the corrosion and/or scale forming potential of your water.
- If you have slime coating or odors – Get a bacterial test that includes total coliform, standard plate count, E. coli., and slime forming bacteria.
Hints You May Have A Lead Problem
- Your home has faucets or fitting made of brass that contains some lead.
- Your home has lead pipes.
- Your home has copper pipes with lead solder and the home is older than 1989, the water is soft, and the water is used intermittently.
- You have pin hole leak, blue-green stains, or blue water.
- Your home was built before 1930s.
- Piping installed prior to 1986 may have solder and flux that was high in lead – How High? At one time as high as 50 % lead. In 1986, the term lead-free applies to solders and flux that are 0.2 % lead and pipes and fittings must be 8 % or less lead. This did not go into effect until about 1988.
Blood lead levels PA cities.
Please do not forget about environmental lead exposure and note foreign products may have more lead- old paint, chipping paint, glazed pottery, some cosmetics, lipstick, some crayons, kids toys (especially imported), imported foods in cans, work exposure to lead, lead batteries, imported candles, lead contaminated soils. (Sources- NY State; FDA)
Please note – This is one reason to Buy – Made in America !
We have been asked for a recommendation on a faucet mounted or counter mounted treatment system – Based on a review – it appears the NSF Certified – Paragon P3200 would be a suitable Countertop Treatment Unit (replace filter cartridge annually)- Use Promo Code A27AC.
Lead- Metals- Corrosive Water
Water Quality Association Addresses Drinking Water Crisis in Flint, Michigan
Offers facts and tips about treating for lead contamination
Lisle, Illinois -The Water Quality Association (WQA), an Illinois-based not-for-profit organization, is offering informational resources to help with the drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan. Flint residents are expected to receive federal aid to help ensure their access to safe drinking water. On January 16, 2016, President Obama signed an Emergency Declaration for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate all disaster- relief efforts. The declaration states that, “This emergency assistance is to provide water, water filters, water filter cartridges, water test kits, and other necessary related items for a period of no more than 90 days.”
Lead (Pb) has been identified as the waterborne contaminant of primary concern for Flint’s residents. To minimize the presence of contaminants such as lead, which may enter the water after it has left a municipal treatment facility, WQA recommends water treatment equipment that has been certified by an ANSI (American National Standards Institute)-accredited certification body. Such accredited entities include WQA’s Gold Seal Product Certification Program, NSF International and Underwriters Laboratory. Flint residents are encouraged to visit www.wqa.org to search for the names of products certified by WQA for lead reduction. Click here to download a technical fact sheet about Lead (Pb).
It is important consumers follow the manufacturer’s instructions for maintenance. WQA also lists of water treatment professionals across the U.S. on its website at www.wqa.org.
1. Recommend that we concentrate on the following – get kids and adults blood tested.
2. Get first flush testing completed for lead and alternative water source for drinking.
3. Install point of use treatment in the interim.
4. Develop a plan to remove the lead service lines.
5. Develop a plan to install corrosion control.
6. Lawsuits should wait until the problem is addressed.
More on lead in drinking water- Corrosion
Check out the Know Your H20? App
Water Treatment Systems – Must Likely need a neutralizing filter and a filter that has KDF 85 or KDF 55 media.
More – 2/4/2016
Water Quality Association Addresses Frequently Asked Questions about Lead in Water
Lisle, Illinois -The Water Quality Association (WQA), an Illinois-based not-for-profit organization, is offering informational resources to help differentiate fact from fiction regarding the drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan. The Association has compiled answers to several of the most common questions, while addressing some widespread misconceptions Flint residents may have about lead (Pb) in drinking water.
What are potential health effects from lead?
Lead poisoning often displays no outward symptoms; however, irritability, weight loss, vomiting, constipation, and stomach pain are possible signs to look for. Young children and pregnant women are at the greatest risk, even from short-term exposure. Reduced cognitive development and neurobehavioral deficits are associated with blood levels less than 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood in children. Therefore, there is no safe level for lead to be present in the blood of children. Individuals will adsorb more lead if they have poor nutrition than those with better diets.
Can a Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) meter be used to detect lead in drinking water?
No. There have been some misconceptions around TDS Meters. These meters cannot measure lead specifically; they detect the conductivity directly related to the concentration of combined total dissolved solids such as minerals, salts and metals. The typical sample of tap water in the U.S. contains approximately 350 parts per million (ppm) of TDS, which, as a whole does not on its own indicate a health concern and in many cases is used as a means to enhance taste of water. Lead concentration is found 1000 times lower at the parts per billion (ppb) level, and is too small to be detected without sophisticated instrumentation. Moreover, because TDS meters don’t measure individual ions, lead cannot be detected on its own.
Where can I go to get my water tested?
Water testing should be done be a certified testing laboratory. WQA strongly recommends water testing be conducted at each point of use in accordance with appropriate sampling procedures. The water should be checked after a period of disuse before a specific water treatment product is selected. Water conditions can change, so the water should be tested both before a treatment product has been installed and at regular intervals following installation. Studies have shown the reported levels of lead found in some Flint, MI water results are higher than conditions under which the manufacturer set the replacement recommendations for filters in published manuals. A list of certified labs in Michigan can be found here.
How do I maintain a filter once it is installed?
Always follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions and contact the manufacturer to confirm usage and capacity. To ensure the manufacturer can provide the most accurate recommendations, have test results for lead and iron on hand for review.
Where do I find a product certified for lead reduction?
American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited entities offering product certification include: WQA’s Product Certification Program, NSF International, International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, and Underwriters Laboratory. All of these certifiers have product listings. To find products certified by WQA for lead reduction, click here. Contact information for local professionals and manufacturers of certified products can also be found wqa.org.
Note Our Work – Email blast from PIOGA
A state task force on natural gas pipelines is making 184 recommendations touching on everything from location of pipelines to emergency response plans, all designed to promote “responsible” pipeline development in Pennsylvania. The 335-page document, crafted by the state Department of Environmental Protection’s Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force, has been posted online for public review.
“It is important to remember that the report is not meant to be the final word,” said DEP Secretary John Quigley, who chaired the task force. “When we present our report to the governor in February 2016, I anticipate that the next step will be to determine the feasibility and implementation strategies for each recommendation.”
The 48-member task force was created in May by Governor Tom Wolf to develop policies, guidelines and tools to assist in pipeline development, operation and maintenance.
Recommendations in the draft were assembled by delegates from sectors affected by pipeline development, Quigley noted, including agriculture, communities, environmentalists, cultural resource advocates, industry officials, government agencies and emergency responders.
That lengthy list of recommendations starts with “educate landowners on pipeline development issues.” Other recommendations:
- Implement full-time environmental inspections during pipeline construction.
- Monitor water quality during construction.
- Establish planning coordination between county agencies and pipeline developers.
- Require pipeline abandonment plans.
- Standardize emergency response plans and provide 911 addresses for pipeline-related facilities.
- Do not locate pipelines parallel to waterways within their 100-year floodways.
- Conduct early outreach with affected communities.
- Minimize impact on local roads.
- Create various statewide bodies and processes, including an all-region DEP pipeline review committee, a statewide pipeline information center for the public, and a DEP design manual for pipeline construction.
A 30-day public comment period on the draft report will run through December 14. [Read more]
Please note – there is no assumed responsibility associated with Pipeline Construction for Private Well Impacts – therefore it is important to document baseline conditions for your existing water sources and water wells. Primary items of concern are aesthetic water quality issues, future methane and other gas releases, spills, local disturbances, discolored water, and related contaminants. The Know Your H20? App for Baseline Testing in PA should help.
New Tools and Courses
Know Your H20 Phone App and Database Search
Citizen Scientists – The Online Water Quality Index Calculator is Available.
Training Courses on Natural Gas Development and Environmental Concerns
Stream Restoration, Wetlands, and Water Resources Management
- If you have any testing done as part of this action, please consider releasing this data to the Citizen Groundwater and Surface Water Database. Fill out the attached form and mail the data to the following address:
Mr. Brian Oram, PG
Keystone Clean Water Team
15 Hillcrest Drive
Dallas, PA 18612
Please note- if you have baseline testing done already you may have some information on the level of surfactants in the water if you had a MBAS test done.
- Informational Screening Testing – Get your water screened for water contamination including isopropanol – Informational Screening Water Kit (Not Certified) Covers about 200 parameters, plus a review of any predrilling data – Only $ 275.00. Email
- Drinking Water Guide for Pennsylvania.
“FLINT, MI – As concerns about Flint’s water quality were mounting earlier this year, the city disregarded federal rules requiring it to seek out homes with lead plumbing for testing, potentially leading the city and state to underestimate for months the extent of toxic lead leaching into Flint’s tap water.
City water officials filed certified documents with state regulators that claimed the city only tested tap water from homes where residents were at the highest risk of lead poisoning, but records obtained by The Flint Journal-MLive show those claims were false and may have delayed efforts to fix the public health emergency.
Water samples sent to state labs for testing in the first six months of this year were all marked as having come from homes with lead service lines, but actually almost always came from homes at less risk of lead leaching – houses with underground plumbing made of copper, galvanized steel or materials that could not be identified, according to the city’s own documents given to The Journal through the Freedom of Information Act.
In response to questioning, Flint Utilities Administrator Mike Glasgow said the city was struggling to collect the number of samples that were required following the city’s switch to the Flint River as its water source in April 2014.”
To read more on this story – go to http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2015/11/documents_show_city_filed_fals.html
Learn More about Your Drinking Water
- Get the Know Your H20? Phone App (Free) – http://www.knowyourh20.us
- Learn more about Corrosive Water and Affordable Water Testing – http://www.water-research.ne
“Glyphosate is an herbicide that is regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act. It is an ingredient in Roundup, a widely used herbicide, as well as more than 700 other products for sale in the United States. Glyphosate is a non-selective herbicide used on many food and non-food crops as well as non-crop areas such as roadsides. When applied at lower rates, it serves as a plant growth regulator. The most common uses include control of broadleaf weeds and grasses hay/pasture, soybeans, field corn; ornamental, lawns, turf, forest plantings, greenhouses, and rights-of-way.
Some people who drink water containing glyphosate well in excess of the maximum contaminant level (MCL) for many years could experience problems with their kidneys or reproductive difficulties. This health effects language is not intended to catalog all possible health effects for glyphosate. Rather, it is intended to inform consumers of some of the possible health effects associated with glyphosate in drinking water when the rule was finalized. In 1974, Congress passed the Safe Drinking Water Act. This law requires EPA to determine the level of contaminants in drinking water at which no adverse health effects are likely to occur. These non-enforceable health goals, based solely on possible health risks and exposure over a lifetime with an adequate margin of safety, are called maximum contaminant level goals (MCLG). Contaminants are any physical, chemical, biological or radiological substances or matter in water.
The MCLG for glyphosate is 0.7 mg/L or 700 ppb. EPA has set this level of protection based on the best available science to prevent potential health problems. EPA has set an enforceable regulation for glyphosate, called a maximum contaminant level (MCL), at 0.7 mg/L or 700 ppb. MCLs are set as close to the health goals as possible, considering cost, benefits and the ability of public water systems to detect and remove contaminants using suitable treatment technologies. In this case, the MCL equals the MCLG, because analytical methods or treatment technology do not pose any limitation.
The Phase V Rule, the regulation for glyphosate, became effective in 1994. The Safe Drinking Water Act requires EPA to periodically review the national primary drinking water regulation for each contaminant and revise the regulation, if appropriate. EPA reviewed glyphosate as part of the Six Year Review and determined that the 0.7 mg/L or 700 ppb MCLG and 0.7 mg/L or 700 ppb MCL for glyphosate are still protective of human health.” (EPA 2015)
While the United States classified glyphosate as non-carcinogenic when it was last reviewed in 1993, the World Health Organization published a study in March 2015 that indicates glyphosate is a probable carcinogen. Since the new study was released, there have been many questions asked regarding the safety of glyphosate. According to The Ecologist (June 12, 2015), several countries have banned or restricted use of the weed killer, including France, Columbia, Sri Lanka and El Salvador. In addition, many garden centers across the globe are pulling products that contain glyphosate off their shelves as a precautionary measure to protect customers. However, Roundup remains a staple herbicide in the United States.
Testing for glyphosate previously may have been cost prohibitive for many homeowners. We have partnered with a national testing laboratory to provide a cost-effective alternative that also includes trace metals, volatile organics, and other organic chemicals. For more information, please visit our Testing Testing and Evalatuion Protal but National Testing Laboratories (NTL) now offers a lower-cost test for detecting glyphosate in drinking water. Typical analysis by EPA-approved methods can cost $200 to $400, but the new package offers a much lower price to both water treatment professionals and homeowners.