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Pennsylvania sets new PFAS limits
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Pennsylvania sets new PFAS limits

These ‘forever’ chemicals have been found in everything from pans to makeup to orange juice

Pennsylvania has officially set new limits on two forms of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in Pennsylvania drinking water. The new rule sets maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) of the chemicals to prevent adverse health effects.

The rule sets an MCL of 14 parts per trillion (ppt) for PFOA and an MCL of 18 ppt for PFOS. 

PFAS are synthetic chemicals that create water-, heat-, and stain-resistant elements in products including cookware, carpets, clothing, furniture fabrics, paper packaging for food, and other resistant materials. The chemicals can be found in air, soil, and water; and have been used in products since the 1940s, including recent announcements of high levels in Simply Orange and Thinx period underwear.

PFOS and PFOA may cause liver damage, elevated cholesterol, changes in thyroid hormone levels, and reduced immune response.


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Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake. View all posts by Julie Hancher
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