Communities near military bases in Montgomery County have been struggling for years with chemicals, called PFAS, seeping into groundwater and tainting it. The chemicals are found in firefighting foam that’s routinely used on bases.
Now, those chemicals also are showing up in other water sources in the region.
In the past month, Aqua Pennsylvania has taken two of its wells in Montgomery County offline due to elevated levels of PFAS, which have been connected to liver damage, high cholesterol, and, potentially, cancer, writes Dana Bate of WHYY for bizjournals.com.
The PFAS levels in Upper Dublin and North Hills were both far below the levels detected in Warminster, Horsham, and Willow Grove, where the military bases were located, and also below the federal standard of 70 parts per trillion.
But a June report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggested that standard was seven to 10 times too high.
“Nobody knows what to make of the numbers, quite frankly,” said Abington Commissioner Mike Thompson, who represents the township’s North Hills section.
He and fellow North Hills residents started noticing elevated PFAS levels of 40-50 parts per trillion earlier this summer on Aqua’s monitoring web site, WaterFacts.com. But since the levels were below the EPA’s standard and above what the CDC now recommends, people had a lot of questions.
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