Despite advisories from the Department of Public Health warning against its consumption by pregnant women, nursing mothers and children, bottled water from a local facility continues to be sold legally on supermarket shelves across the state, according to reports.
Random samples conducted last month by the National Center for Environmental Health revealed an elevated level of PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) chemicals in water packaged and manufactured from Havrhill’s Spring Hill Farms Dairy, despite the company’s claim their products currently meet or exceed FDA standards. Under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, FDA regulatory standards for bottled water must be compatible with those set by the EPA for tap water. The EPA currently recommends drinking water not have more than 70 parts per trillion (ppt) of PFAS, yet does not legally require or enforce the standard.
Research has linked PFAS exposure to kidney and testicular cancer, limited fetal growth rates, ulcerative colitis and disrupted endocrine activity. There are currently no FDA regulatory standards for PFAS found in food and beverages; a measure which Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) hopes to enact in light of the reports on Spring Hill Farms.
“Given the widespread persistence of PFAS in our environment and drinking water, many people have turned to bottled water to avoid adding toxins to their bodies. In light of this, it is especially concerning that bottled water may contain PFAS in unsafe concentrations,” Blumenthal stated in a recent letter to the FDA. “I urge the FDA act expeditiously to tackle this national crisis in consultation with other federal agencies.” Blumenthal’s letter follows Senate approval last month of the National Defense Authorization Act, which includes an amendment increasing government and EPA response to PFAS found in drinking water.
While Spring Hill Farms has yet to publicly respond to the report, the Massachusetts DPH indicates the company is cooperating with their recommendations and have installed a filtration system to remove PFAS compounds.
The DPH is warning consumers against purchasing or consuming bottled water manufactured by Spring Hill with a production date prior to July 24th, 2019. A full list of brand names and retailers which may be affected by PFAS follows:
- 365 Spring Water (Whole Foods)
- Acadia Spring Water (Stop and Shop)
- Spring Hill Spring Best Yet Spring Water (various)
- Cumberland Farms Spring Water (Cumberland Farms)
- IGA Spring Water (various)
- Spring Hill Spring Ice Canyon Spring Water (CVS)
- Spring Hill Spring Food Club Spring Water (various)
- Market Basket Spring Water (Market Basket)
- Nature’s Pride Spring Water (Garelick Farms - various)
- Oakhurst Spring Water (various)
- Roche Brothers Spring Water (Roche Bros.)
- Shaw Spring Water (various)
- Spring Hill Spring Water (various)