The Massachusetts Department of Public Heath has recently issued a warning regarding the presence of polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) exceeding the safety threshold in bottled waters reports Business Insider. Said bottled waters, belonging to Spring Hill Farm Dairy, were sold as “Spring Water” at Whole Foods and “Ice Canyon Spring Water” at CVS locations.
Since being advised of the dangerous, high level contaminants, Spring Hill has announced on Friday, August 2, 2019, that it will no longer continue its operations merely because of the stress associated with it, adding that it is too much for a “small, fourth-generation family business.” Additionally, the firm said:
“The deluge of unwarranted attention on our company, when PFAS is clearly a national problem with thousands of contributors, has made it impossible for us to keep operating.”
The issue has reached as far as the International Bottled Water Association, as member firms have been directed to get their waters tested for PFAS. How serious of a problem is it? As per the claims made, it can lead to long-lasting, unwanted illnesses such as cancer, liver damage and developmental issues.
Turns out that PFAS has garnered the name “forever chemicals” because it has the ability to last in water for thousands of years. This implies that once entered, it will not leave the body. Pregnant women have especially been warned as it can negatively influence breast-feeding mothers, not to forget a healthy prengnancy.
The public health warning has led CVS to stop their offerings of Ice Canyon Spring Water and released a statement that they’ve switched water brands and will be reimbursing anyone who has purchased it. As for Whole Foods, no comment has been made as of yet.
The issue concerning PFAS is currently on the loose, with Environmental Working Group (EWG) having spotted the forever chemicals in 100 American sites (i.e. public water system, military bases and industrial plants), making the total, 700 across 49 states.
According to the Senior Scientist at EWG, David Andres, PFAS comes in 5000 various types, however, only two of them are deemed “most concerning”, which includes PFOA and PFOS. Furthermore, he shared that:
“It took decades of study before we really understood how potent they are. These chemicals are concerning, and we should eliminate as much [exposure] as possible.”