Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of manmade chemicals that have been manufactured and used in a variety of industries around the world since the 1940s. These chemicals don’t break down and accumulate over time both in the environment and the human body, and there is evidence that exposure to PFAS can lead to adverse human health effects. PFAS can be found in food, commercial household products, drinking water, and consumable living organisms such as fish and livestock. Certain PFAS chemicals are no longer manufactured in the United States as the result of phase outs; however, they are still produced internationally and can be imported in consumer goods such as carpet, leather and apparel, textiles, paper and packaging, coatings, rubbers, and plastics.
Most people have been exposed to PFAS, and certain PFAS can accumulate and stay in the body for long periods of time. Studies indicate that PFAS can cause reproductive and developmental, kidney and liver, and immunological effects in laboratory animals. These chemicals have also caused tumors in animals. The most consistent findings among exposed populations are increased cholesterol levels.
There is currently no maximum contaminant level (MCL) for PFAS in drinking water. An MCL is traditionally developed by the US Environmental Protection Agency; however, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) has started to conduct statewide sampling and analysis to determine the prevalence of PFAS in drinking water. The IEPA started with community water systems that utilize groundwater because of the prevalence of PFAS in surrounding states' drinking water. The IEPA’s sample analysis included a total of 18 PFAS chemicals and none of these chemicals were present in the Village’s finished water at concentrations greater than or equal to minimum reporting levels. These outstanding results are largely due to the locations of the Village’s wells, and the reverse osmosis treatment method.