State mulls water safety rules for new chemicals

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK -

Water officials from around the state met in Manhattan Monday to discuss what level of currently unregulated toxins are safe in drinking water.

Paul Granger, the superintendent of Port Washington's water district, was among the panelists. 

"We have to listen to the science and the studies and determine how to regulate emerging contaminants that are not regulated by the federal government or New York state," he says.

Some of the toxins in question are PFOAs, PFOs and 1,4-dioxane, which is used in chemical solvents and laundry detergent. 

Lab rats exposed to 1,4-dioxane developed kidney cancer. PFOAs and PFOs are known to cause cancer. They are used in firefighting foam and to make carpets and furniture stain-resistant. There are expensive ways to filter them out of drinking water.

"To treat these chemicals there is a significant investment you need to make," Granger says. "The dollars need to go to provide optimum public health protection."

Authorities are expected to set guidelines within the next few weeks.

Lois Doniger, who lives within the Bethpage Grumman plume, says residents should take their own safety precautions and install filters in their homes.

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