EPA To Limit Toxic ‘Forever Chemicals’ in Drinking Water


    The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday proposed the first federal limits on harmful “forever chemicals” in drinking water, a long-awaited protection the agency said will save thousands of lives and prevent serious illnesses, including cancer. From a report: The plan would limit toxic PFAS chemicals to the lowest level that tests can detect. PFAS, or per- and polyfluorinated substances, are a group of compounds that are widespread, dangerous and expensive to remove from water. They don’t degrade in the environment and are linked to a broad range of health issues, including low birthweight and kidney cancer. “The science is clear that long-term exposure to PFAS is linked to significant health risks,” Radhika Fox, assistant EPA administrator for water, said in an interview. Fox called the federal proposal a “transformational change” for improving the safety of drinking water in the United States. The agency estimates the rule could reduce PFAS exposure for nearly 100 million Americans, decreasing rates of cancer, heart attacks and birth complications. The chemicals had been used since the 1940s in consumer products and industry, including in nonstick pans, food packaging and firefighting foam. Their use is now mostly phased out in the U.S., but some still remain. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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