In late September, representatives of USEPA, NIEHS, University of North Carolina, Duke University and others participated in the symposium on “Emerging Contaminants in Ambient Environment: Perspectives to Guide North Carolina’s PFAS Monitoring Network” held at Duke University. Participants reported that the North Carolina Monitoring Network effort for PFAS will begin in 2019 and will include sampling and analyzing raw water from all of North Carolina’s 191 municipal surface water intakes and 149 municipal drinking water systems that treat groundwater. All of these locations will be sampled in the first quarter of 2019 and again in the second quarter of 2019. There will be another sampling event in third quarter of 2019 at all locations with detectable PFAS

High-resolution mass spectrometry analyses will be conducted on all of the samples for some 5,100 known PFAS compounds and even unknown fluorinated organic compounds. This is a significantly wider number of such compounds than earlier and more limited sampling events.

The monitoring will also evaluate the deposition of PFAS from air emissions, including fugitive emissions from industrial operations, contaminated soils and water, landfills and publicly owned treatment works.

Risk assessments will also be conducted on detected PFAS compounds based upon predicted exposures and hazards. The risks to be evaluated include:

  • Immunotoxicity
  • Developmental toxicity
  • Threats to pregnant women
  • Bioaccumulation in fish
  • Exposures to water not previously considered