Massachusetts health officials warn that bottled water from Spring Hill Farm Dairy, Inc. may contain high levels of potentially toxic chemicals, which are used in firefighting foam and cookware, indicating that infants, pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers should not to consume the bottled spring water products.
In a Bottled Water Consumption Advisory (PDF) issued on July 2, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health indicates that high amounts of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) have been detected in products containing spring water from Spring Hill Farm Dairy, Inc.
The bottled water was sold under a variety of names, including store-brand from Whole Foods, Stop-and-Shop, CVS and other labels. All of the recalled water indicates on the label that Spring Hill Spring is the source.
The warning indicates that the PFAS chemicals were found at levels that regulators recommend pregnant and breast-feeding women not consume. However, the agency also notes that the water has not exceeded the applicable regulatory standards and that the company’s permit in Massachusetts is valid and in good standing.
PFAS are a group of synthetic chemicals often found in food products. There are nearly 5,000 types of PFAS, and some are more commonly used and studied than others.
This warning comes a month after the FDA confirmed the widespread presence of PFAS in the food supply, but said it was not a health concern.
Because many of the PFAS chemicals are impermeable to grease, water, and oil, they are used in many products to make them water and stain resistant. PFAS are often used for carpeting, cleaning products, paints, and fire-fighting foams. The chemicals are also often used to make non-stick cookware and food packaging.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has issued a fact sheet on PFAS in drinking water (PDF) for consumers.
According to the advisory, the company plans to install a filtration process to remove PFAS from the spring water, which will be operation by July 24.
“The affected products are those that list the source as “spring” water on the label, Not all Spring Hill Farm Dairy Inc. brands list spring water as the source,” the advisory notes. “Spring Hill Farm Dairy Inc. brand water that is labeled as distilled, purified, or fluorinated has not been found to include PFAS.”
The warning includes water sold under the Golden Flow Spring Water, Hy-Top Spring Water, Native Brands Spring Water and Pride Pure labels sold outside of Massachusetts. It affects a much wider list of products sold within the state, including 365 Spring Water sold at Whole Foods, Acadia Spring Water sold at Stop and Shop, and Ice Canyon Spring Water sold at CVS. Container sizes range from 1 to 2.5 gallons. For a full list of affected products, see the advisory linked above.
Consumers with additional questions can contact the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Bureau of Environmental Health at 6127-624-5757, or the state’s Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Research and Standards, at 617-556-1165.