Tainted bottled water is being sold at supermarkets throughout New England

Image caption: Gallon jugs at Whole Foods containing Spring Hill Farm water that could be contaminated with PFAS. Image credit: Erin Clark for the Boston Globe

Concern is raised over lack of a recall issued for bottled water brands contaminated with PFAS despite a health advisory released by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. After learning of high levels of PFAS detected through random sampling of bottled water, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services alerted Massachusetts officials of the findings. State officials then issued a health advisory to consumers, especially pregnant or nursing women and their children, to avoid drinking or cooking with the water.

Results from water tested from Spring Hill Farm Dairy in Haverhill, MA indicated high levels of PFAS in brands sold at Whole Foods, CVS, Stop & Shop and other popular grocers. Health officials issued a consumption advisory but did not require stores selling the water to notify customers or issue a recall.

Jim Martin, spokesman for the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services says, “…we wouldn’t recommend that anyone in the public drink this water.” Nancy Sterling, a Spring Hill Farm spokeswoman notes that there is no legal requirement to issue a recall, and that the farm just spent $100,000 on a new filtration system.

STEEP researchers Elsie Sunderland and Laurel Schaider gave their own comments regarding the topic.

“Consumers deserve to know when there are high PFAS concentrations in the bottled water, so they can make an informed choice,” said Sunderland.

“When public water supplies discover PFAS levels above health guidelines, they’re supposed to take immediate action, and bottled water should meet the same guidelines,” said Schaider.

Read full story