In 2021, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began an ongoing sampling investigation of Perfluoroalkyls (PFAS) chemicals in community water supplies. PFAS are human-made chemicals that have been used in industrial and consumer products worldwide since the 1940s, such as non-stick pans, firefighting foams, and other water/oil resistant products.
Evanston results: The Village receives water from the City of Evanston, which performs the testing as they are a water production point. Illinois EPA testing determined that one PFAS chemical was detected in the City's drinking water just above its guidance level of 2.0 parts per trillion (ppt) – roughly equivalent to one drop in 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools. The levels detected for this chemical, PFOA (Perfluorooctanoic acid), were 2.2 ppt (9/2/2021), 2.3 ppt (11/16/2021), and 2.2 ppt (11/16/2021). These concentrations are well below the US EPA published Lifetime Health Advisory Level of 70 ppt.
Next steps: Evanston has informed their customers that they are following recommendations from the Illinois EPA and closely monitoring the latest health-based guidance. At this time, no enforceable federal or state drinking water standard, called a Maximum Contaminant Level or MCL, exists for PFAS chemicals. Staff will continue working with the City of Evanston to monitor these levels and follow the appropriate regulations.
Health Impacts: According to the EPA, “Exposure to PFAS does not necessarily mean that a person will get sick or experience an adverse health effect. Researchers continue working to fully understand the effects on human health. While research on the effects of PFAS exposure on human health is ongoing, current scientific studies have identified possible adverse health effects such as increased cholesterol levels, increased risk for thyroid disease, low infant birth weights, reduced response to vaccines, liver and kidney toxicity, and pregnancy-induced hypertension.”
Learn more: Click here for more information from the EPA regarding PFAS.
Additional questions or comments should be directed to the Public Works Department at (847) 675-0888.