NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – On Monday evening, the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) released a health effects statement on GenX to county public health directors. The statement, which can be viewed here, was prepared for the NC Division of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) by the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch of NC DHHS.
The role of the Division of Public Health is to assist the NCDEQ in understanding the human health effects of GenX, and the health effects statement was reiterated to county officials during a 9:30 a.m. call Tuesday morning with state public health officials.
Below is a key excerpt from their statement:
There are no U.S. regulatory guideline levels for GenX. However, as part of the European chemical registration, a 2-year chronic toxicity and cancer study with rats was performed. They reported a Derived No Effect Level (DNEL) of 0.01 mg/kg bw/day. Based on U.S. risk assessment calculations, this corresponds to a concentration in drinking water of 70,909 ng/L of GenX- more than 100 times greater than the mean value of 631 ng/L detected in the Cape Fear River. Based upon these data, the GenX levels detected in 2013-2014 would be expected to pose a low risk to human health.
This statement begins to shed light on human health risks from GenX, but it does not eliminate the county’s concern that this unregulated compound has been found in our drinking water supply. New Hanover County officials continue to request that the EPA and DEQ establish regulatory standards without delay.
The full NC DHHS statement, as well as additional educational information for the public, can be viewed at NHCgov.com/DrinkingWater.
Communications & Outreach Coordinator