Brunswick County Public Utilities received results for GenX from water samples taken on Oct. 19; on this date raw water levels of GenX were 281 ppt and finished water results were 193 ppt. The results are above the Health Goal of 140 ppt. The Health Goal is for the most vulnerable populations (bottle fed infants) over a lifetime of consuming water at or above 140 ppt
At this juncture, it is worth reviewing the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Risk Assessment of Gen X.
The updated health goal is 140 ng/L (ppt) for the most vulnerable population – i.e. bottle-fed infants, the population that drinks the largest volume of water per body weight.
What does the health goal for GenX mean?
For the most vulnerable population (bottle-fed infants) the updated health risk assessment means that there could be an increased risk of adverse health effects over a lifetime of consuming water with levels greater than 140 ng/L (ppt).
Because this goal/level is calculated based on the most vulnerable population, it is the most conservative and is protective of other groups, including pregnant women, nursing mothers, children, as well as other adults. It is important to consider that other weekly samples have been below the health goal and we fully expect levels go down back to less than 140ppt.
Does NC DHHS recommend that people stop using the municipal water for drinking or other purposes if levels are above 140 ng/L?
NC DHHS will not be making a blanket recommendation about water use, but will work with local partners about health risks and messaging regarding sampling results. Individuals are encouraged to consider information in the health risk assessment when making decisions about water use. The potential health effects from these chemicals should be balanced against the health benefits of municipal water, including routine monitoring for a variety of microbial and known chemical contaminants that could be present in private wells or other unregulated sources.
Does this mean my water is unsafe if levels are over 140 ng/L?
This health assessment is not a boundary line between a “safe” and “dangerous” level of a chemical. Rather, it is a level that represents the concentration of GenX at which no adverse non-cancer health effects would be anticipated over an entire lifetime to the most sensitive population, not just one week with a higher than 140 ppt result. At this time, the State has not indicated that any protective measures regarding drinking water are necessary.