« Senate considers 'no confidence' vote in Gonzales | Main | Israel Strikes »

3M chemical found in private wells

A chemical 3M legally disposed of in Woodbury decades ago is now turning up in private wells in the area surrounding the disposal site, the Pioneer Press reported Friday. The chemical, perfluorobutanoic, or PFBA for short, was discovered in 99 of the wells in southern Washington County. The state Department of Health tested 350 wells in the area of suspected contamination. PFBA is a chemical 3M used for photographic film and was legally disposed of in the site off Woodbury Drive and Military Road, ending in the 1970s. The 99 wells that were contaminated contained at least one part-per-billion of the chemical, with some houses testing as high as five ppb. PFBA has proven in lab tests to start effecting rats in extremely high doses. Health officials said a resident in the contamination area would have to drink over 250,000 glasses of water a day to reach even the lowest level of the effects documented in lab studies.