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Low levels of PFAS detected in Kunia Village water system

There are a number of initiatives in the works to address PFAS in drinking water.
AFP via Getty Images
There are a number of initiatives in the works to address PFAS in drinking water.

Low levels of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAs, have been detected in the Kunia Village water system's Del Monte Kunia 3 well.

The state Department of Health announced the finding this week but said there is no immediate threat to Kunia residents.

PFAs are water-repellent chemicals typically found in household items such as stain-proof fabric and nonstick pans.

Long-term consumption of drinking water with PFAS can complicate pregnancy, increase cancer risks and slow vaccine responses.

Those concerned may use a water filtration system to reduce chemical potency, the state said

The levels of the PFAS chemicals detected at Kunia Village are very low, according to officials, but they are above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s health advisory levels.

In June 2022, EPA proposed new interim health advisory levels for perfluorooctane sulfonic acid, or PFOS. They advise levels to be around 0.00002 micrograms per liter, if any.

The PFO levels detected in Kunia Village were between 0.045 – 0.050 micrograms per liter in its last sampling released on Jan. 20.

“Because PFA chemicals are used in so many products and industries, it is not uncommon to see them contaminating drinking water at low levels," said Deputy Director of Environmental Health Kathleen Ho in a statement.

"However, it is very important for the public to be aware of the presence of these contaminants," Ho said.

The Kunia Village system is in full compliance with all federal and state standards for drinking water.

Zoe Dym was a news producer at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
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