North Carolina seeks origin of chemical spill on creek

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — State officials are for the second time in slightly more than a year trying to determine the source of potentially harmful compounds found in foam floating on a North Carolina creek.

In both instances, the man-made chemicals found in the Gray’s Creek area don’t appear to be connected to the Chemours plant, which is in the same area and makes a similar compound, The Fayetteville Observer reported. 

The state Department of Environmental Quality said in a memo dated June 22 that tests were conducted in March on foam from an unnamed tributary of Rockfish Creek. The tests showed that the foam contained perfluorooctane sulfonate, also known as PFOS, and three other compounds.

In July 2020, department officials said tests on foam found floating in a creek revealed high levels of PFOS. This year’s memo notes that there are no federal or state health advisory levels for polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS compounds, in surface water or in foam.

This year’s results showed PFOS levels at 614 parts per trillion, well above the 70 parts per trillion set for drinking water by the Environmental Protection Agency The agency has found that PFOS can have harmful impacts on people’s health at certain levels. including cancer.

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