Tackling GenX at UNCW
Tackling GenX at UNCW
Why this petition matters
Petition summary: Raising awareness about GenX and pushing for additional reverse osmosis water filter stations.
There are currently no reverse osmosis water filter stations in The Shore Dining Hall and other areas on campus.
This petition would be presented to Business Affairs at UNCW.
What is GenX?
GenX is a member of a large group of man-made chemical compounds known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS are man-made chemicals that do not occur naturally in the environment. These chemicals have broad uses in commercial products such as food packaging, nonstick coatings, and firefighting foam.
GenX is a trade name for one unregulated PFAS used in manufacturing nonstick coatings and for other purposes. It is also produced as a byproduct of certain manufacturing processes.
Where is GenX found in the environment?
In June 2017, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) was notified of a chemical, called GenX, found in drinking water sourced from the lower Cape Fear River. GenX and other emerging PFAS were found in the river and drinking water in a study led by researchers at North Carolina State University. The Chemours facility in Fayetteville was identified as the source of the GenX chemical. Further investigation by the NC Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) found GenX in private drinking water wells near the Chemours facility.
How can GenX affect my health?
There is limited information about the health effects of GenX. Laboratory studies of animals show effects on the liver at GenX exposure levels lower than levels where other effects are seen, indicating that the liver may be sensitive to GenX. Other negative effects seen in animal studies at higher levels include effects on the kidney and immune system, and developmental effects as well as liver, pancreatic, and testicular cancer.
Animal toxicity studies are a helpful starting point for understanding potential health effects of GenX, but the relevance to human health cannot be fully understood without more human research studies. Limited information from a small exposure investigation (i.e. targeted biomonitoring) suggests that GenX may not stay in the body for a long period of time.
Scientists are actively studying the health effects of PFAS to learn more. NCDHHS continues to work with various federal and state partners to review all new health and toxicity information about these compounds and shares new information with communities, as it becomes available. This includes the ongoing Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) Exposure Assessments and Multi-Site Health Studies and North Carolina State University’s GenX Exposure Study.
Source: North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services