STATEMENT: DPH urges consumers not to drink certain bottled water due to PFAS contamination

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BOSTON – The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH)  advises consumers not to purchase or consume Simpson Spring products until further notice, after per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination exceeding drinking water standards was found in water bottled and distributed by the company. The DPH advisory includes bottled water and fill containers from self-serve water vending machines operated or distributed by the company, which is based in Easton, Massachusetts. 

PFAS are a class of chemicals used to make products stain-proof, water resistant, and nonstick. They are in a wide array of consumer products, including food packaging, carpets, clothing, cookware, pesticides, artificial turf, cleaners, waxes, building materials, paints, personal care products, firefighting gear and foam. The production, use, and disposal of these products leaches PFAS into our bodies and environment.

In response to the DPH warning, MASSPIRG’s Legislative Director, Deirdre Cummings, released this statement: 

“While alarming, today’s warning issued by the DPH is not a surprise. PFAS have already contaminated public water systems in 96 cities and towns in Massachusetts. These chemicals are incredibly harmful, increasing the risk of cancers, liver disease and more. 

All Massachusetts families deserve clean drinking water, and we shouldn’t have to shop around or buy expensive filters to find it. We need to stop using these toxic chemicals and hold the chemical industry accountable for the harm they have caused and the costs of cleaning up their contamination. As the saying goes, ‘If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.’ 

“We’re counting on the Legislature to pass state Sen. Julian Cyr (Truro) and state Rep. Kate Hogan’s (Stow) Act to protect Massachusetts public health from PFAS (S1356/H2197) which would phase-out these toxic chemicals in the state.

“PFAS pose a particular risk to our children and families because they build up over time in our bodies and the environment, so the more they are used, the greater threat they pose. The risks simply outweigh the benefits. We know we will need to clean up the damage already done – but unless we stop using them, the health and environmental risks will continue to compound.”

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