Most Maine bottled water companies aren’t testing for PFAS Bangor Daily News Maine Focus

As Mainers learn about the presence of toxic chemicals in their public drinking water supplies and private wells, more are turning to bottled water. However, even bottled water can have per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, and the companies that sell bottled water are not required to test for the chemicals.

In fact, the state is just beginning to get a glimpse of PFAS contamination levels in bottled water. Since June, some water bottling companies have voluntarily tested for PFAS after being asked to do so by the state’s drinking water program.

Of 11 water bottlers operating in Maine, only three have tested as of Aug. 17. One detected PFAS in its bottled water, but it fell below the state’s standard for drinking water of 20 parts per trillion.

Some Mainers believe water bottlers should be legally required to test for PFAS just as public water districts are. PFAS are a class of manmade chemicals found in household and industrial products that are difficult to destroy and have been linked to serious illnesses.

Bill Cunningham, a retired dentist and resident of Pittsfield, has been purchasing bottled water from Oak Grove Spring Water for more than eight years. A few months ago, as more toxic chemicals were being discovered in drinking water in other parts of Maine, he began digging into local water bottlers’ websites to search for their PFAS levels. He found that some provided the results of the chemicals they were testing for. Oak Grove Spring Water’s website did not, however, and it worried him.

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