DEC: No link between Norlite and PFAS deposits

Albany County

COHOES, N.Y. (NEWS10) — According to New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), there is “no clearly discernible pattern of aerial deposition [of PFAS] that could be traced to Norlite’s operations.”

The DEC says officials conducted a comprehensive study of PFAS and 23 metals—including mercury—in samples collected from the environment near the Norlite Facility. It has been under fire for the better part of a year, since the facility’s burning of aqueous film-forming firefighting foam, or AFFF, began to concern locals and environmental advocates.

The DEC study targeted whether contaminants like per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances—called PFAS—are present in area communities because Norlite burned AFFF. Experts have said that exposure to pollutants from burning these substances contribute to poor health conditions.

Although the study detected PFAS compounds in all soil samples collected, the DEC said the low-levels are consistent with levels found in other urban, suburban, and rural environments. It highlights emerging research on the prevalence of these contaminants and says the concentration of PFAS was below acceptable levels. Ultimately, based on DEC and Department of Health recommendations, the study shows that Norlite’s operations do not pose a risk to human health.

Find out more about the study on the DEC website.

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