water test 091520NAPERVILLE – The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency announced it will begin testing all community water supplies in the state for potential contaminants, a decision State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) says could help protect the health of both residents and the environment.

The Illinois EPA will begin testing for per- and polyfluoroaklyl substances (PFAS), human-made chemicals that do not occur naturally in the environment. They are widely used for waterproofing and stain-fighting applications in a range of commercial products such as waterproof clothing, food wrappers and many household products.

“I’m glad to see the Illinois EPA being proactive and measuring the prevalence of PFAS chemicals in our water supply,” Ellman said. “This will allow us to learn more about concentration levels and variability of PFAS compounds, which in turn helps us understand risk. I expect this data will be very useful.”

According to the Illinois EPA, if PFAS chemicals are detected in concentrations above a certain level, additional assessments or actions may be needed to protect residents’ health and the environment.

“Our statewide drinking water investigation will produce essential data on these emerging contaminants, which will allow us to identify areas where action must be taken to reduce human health risks associated with these chemicals in drinking water,” said Illinois EPA Director John J. Kim.

The Illinois EPA will collect data on a total of 18 PFAS chemicals to help develop future regulations for PFAS levels in drinking water. The research is expected to take 12 to 15 months to complete.

For additional information, please visit the Statewide PFAS Investigation Network webpage.