What do I need to do?
  • Consumers in a sensitive subgroup (pregnant or nursing women, infants and people diagnosed by their health care provider to have a compromised immune system), are advised not to consume, drink, or cook with water when the level of PFAS6 is above 20 nanograms per liter (ng/L).
  • Consumers in sensitive subgroups are advised to use bottled water for drinking and cooking of foods that absorb water (like pasta).
  • For infant formula, use bottled water or use formula that does not require adding water.
  • For older children and adults not in a sensitive subgroup, the 20 ng/L value is applicable to a lifetime of consuming the water. For these groups, shorter duration exposures present less risk. However, if you are concerned about your exposure while steps are being taken to assess and lower the PFAS concentration in the drinking water, use of bottled water will reduce your exposure.
  • Bottled water should only be used if it has been tested. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health requires companies licensed to sell or distribute bottled water or carbonated non-alcoholic beverages to test for PFAS. See a list of bottlers.
  • Home water treatment systems that are certified to remove PFAS by an independent testing group such as NSF, UL, or Water Quality Association may be used to treat the water. These may include point of entry systems, which treat all the water entering a home, or point of use devices, which treat water where it is used, such as at a faucet. For information on selecting home treatment devices that are effective in treating the water for PFAS6, review the MassDEP factsheet for consumers (PDF).
  • In most situations the water can be safely used for washing foods, brushing teeth, bathing, and showering.
  • Boiling the water will not destroy PFAS6 and will somewhat increase its level due to evaporation of some of the water.
  • If you have specific health concerns regarding exposure, you should see the Centers for Disease Control's page and consult a health professional, such as your doctor.

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1. What happened?
2. What does this mean?
3. What is PFAS6?
4. What do I need to do?
5. What is being done?
6. Where can I get more information?