Honey collected from a Bladen County farm tested positive for GenX in quantities 15 times higher, according to a Fayetteville Observer report, marking the first discovery of GenX in a food product since the spill.
The honey showed levels of GenX nearly 15 times higher than the health goal set by the state of 140 parts per trillion.
The honey showed levels of GenX of 2,070 parts per trillion, though the state is consulting with the Environmental Protection Agency to determine whether the viscosity of the honey would affect the test results.
Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) officials reported the contamination to the North Carolina Secretaries’ Science Advisory in Wilmington on Monday.
The latest discovery means that GenX has been uncovered in the Cape Fear River, more than 80 residential wells around the Chemours Fayetteville Works facility, and now in a food product.
The farmer does not sell the honey but makes it for consumption by friends and family.
After discovering the Genx contamination the farmer agreed to dispose of the honey, according to the Fayetteville Observer report.
Chemours directed to provide bottled water to more families on private wells
Last week DEQ directed Chemours to begin providing water bottles to an additional 34 well owners near the Fayetteville Works facility after further private well testing showed GenX above the state’s provisional health goal in residential drinking wells.
Chemours is conducting the well testing at the direction of the state.
Currently there are 85 residential well owners receiving bottled water because of GenX detections above the provisional state health goal.
In mid-October, Chemours expanded its sampling to 450 parcels of land one mile from the facility’s property boundary.
Of those sampled, the state has verified results for 107 wells that were tested from Oct. 11 to Oct. 19.
“We will continue to demand sampling of private drinking wells so we can determine where the contamination ends and we will direct Chemours to continue providing bottled water to all residents using affected wells,” DEQ Secretary Michael Regan said. “We realize, however, this is a short-term solution and we are already in discussions with local officials about providing residents a permanent source of clean drinking water source.”
DEQ officials have been in discussions with Bladen and Cumberland county officials to look for alternative water solutions, including digging deeper wells, installing water filters on homes or running water lines to residents whose wells tested above the state’s provisional drinking water health goal.