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Friday, October 07, 2022

US issues new warnings about ‘Forever Chemicals’ in drinking water

US issues new warnings about 'Forever Chemicals' in drinking water

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday released new warnings about synthetic pollutants in drinking water known as “forever chemicals,” saying the toxins can still be harmful, even at levels so low that they are not detectable.

The family of toxic chemicals known as per- and polifluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, has been used for decades in household products such as non-stick cookware, stain and water-resistant textiles and in fire-fighting foam and industrial products.

Scientists have linked some PFAS to cancers, liver damage, low birth weight and other health problems. But the chemicals, which do not break down easily, have not yet been regulated.

The agency will issue proposed rules to regulate PFAS in the coming months. Until the regulations come into force, the advice is intended to provide information to states, tribes and water systems to address PFAS contamination.

The EPA also said it would roll out the first $ 1 billion to tackle PFAS in drinking water, out of a total of $ 5 billion in funding in last year’s infrastructure law. The funds will provide states with technical assistance, water quality testing and installation of centralized treatment systems.

The updated drinking water health advice for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) replaces those issued by the EPA in 2016. The advice levels, based on new science considering lifelong exposure, indicate that some health problems can still occur with concentrations of PFOA or PFOS in water that is close to zero and below EPA’s ability to detect.

“Today’s actions highlight EPA’s commitment to using the best available science to tackle PFAS pollution, protect public health and provide critical information quickly and transparently,” said Radhika Fox, EPA’s Assistant Administrator for Water, said.

The agency encourages entities that find PFAS in drinking water to inform residents and undertake monitoring and take actions to reduce exposure. Individuals concerned about PFAS being found in their drinking water should consider installing a home filter, it said.

The American Chemistry Council industry group, whose members include 3M and DuPont, said the EPA hastened the notices by not waiting for a review by the agency’s Scientific Advisory Board. The group said it was concerned that the process for developing the advice was “fundamentally flawed”.

This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

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