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Denmark tests groundwater for perfluorinated chemicals

Denmark's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a study, which identified long-chain perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) in the groundwater and soil surrounding sites previously used for fire drills or by the carpet industry. Sites used by companies operating in the paints and chrome plating industries as well as that had served as landfills were also investigated, without finding any evidence of PFCs present.

The agency recommends further investigation of fire training grounds and carpet industry sites, and more field studies on the occurrence of PFCs in groundwater on land used by the other industries targeted by the study. These are necessary before a clear conclusion can be drawn, the EPA says.

It is is now in the process of establishing limits for the substances in groundwater and drinking water because these are not defined in Denmark, at the moment. According to the agency, there is nothing to suggest that the PFCs found pose a health risk by ending up in drinking water. However, it will write to the affected municipalities and stress that local authorities must test their water supplies for the compounds.

The purpose of the study is not to make a comprehensive statement on the use of substances, but to “point out branches that may be potential point sources to contamination of soil and groundwater”, the EPA says.

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