People in several Saipan villages in the Northern Marianas are being warned of contaminated tap water in their communities.
The Commonwealth Utilities Corporation has detected levels of perfluorooctane sulfonate and perfluorooctanoic acid which exceed those advised by the US Environmental Protection Agency.
The corporation is advising people in the affected areas to avoid drinking, cooking or making ice with tap water until the pollutants are below the health advisory level.
Exposure to the substances over certain levels can cause harm to people including to foetuses and breast-fed babies and may result in liver, thyroid or immune problems as well as cancer.
The affected area includes the villages of Chalan Laulau, Iliying, Chalan Kiya, As Terlaje, Kannat Tabla, Fina Sisu, San Jose, and parts of southern Garapan, Gualo Rai, Susupe, As Lito, and As Perdido.