Photo: Testing water samples for unsafe substances at a lab in Fairfield, NJ.
LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. — New Jersey has some of the highest concentrations of perfluorinated chemicals, but the state is taking steps to reduce their risk to the public.
It has been nearly 20 years since a hazardous class of chemicals found in common consumer products like nonstick cookware and mattresses was manufactured in the United States, but it is still present in drinking water. Now, New Jersey, which has some of the highest concentrations of the chemicals, is seeking to take the lead in controlling the material and reducing its threat to public health.
The class of chemicals, known as perfluorinated chemicals, has been linked to illnesses including cancer, high cholesterol and developmental problems in young children, prompting the United States Environmental Protection Agency to issue a health advisory about what officials say is a safe limit in drinking water. While the E.P.A. does not formally regulate the chemicals, some states have started imposing their own restrictions. In New Jersey, a panel of scientists that advises the state government recommended last month that New Jersey impose strict limits on perfluorooctane sulfonate, or PFOS, a type of perfluorinated chemical […]