Finally, some good news (perhaps) regarding the damaging, unregulated, and widely used PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) chemicals. PFAS are man-made chemicals commonly called "forever chemicals" because of how they stick around, persist, and contaminate both humans and the environment. Including our communities, our drinking water (at least 2411 drinking water systems), and military installations.
Last week the US House of Representatives passed a bill (PFAS Action Act, H.R. 2467) that would finally designate certain PFAS compounds as hazardous substances, would regulate PFAS in drinking water, and would issue grants to help community water systems treat PFAS contaminated water. It would make clean-up of PFAS contamination of groundwater at military installations a priority (PFAS was in the firefighting foams used by the military).
These chemicals have been used for years in many industrial and consumer products, such as food packaging, non-stick cookware, cosmetics, and products containing stain and water-repellents (e.g. fabrics, carpeting). Even dental floss!
Why the concern? PFAS are known endocrine (hormone) disruptors associated with all sorts of harmful health problems, including cancers, reproductive harm (e.g. poorer semen quality), lowered sex and growth hormones in children, thyroid disease, immune effects, and liver and kidney damage. Unfortunately, they are already found in the bodies of almost all Americans (at varying levels), so we should try to reduce our exposure.
Of course industry opposes the legislation and called it a ban. No, it's not a ban, but a first step in regulating the chemicals and cleaning up contamination. We'll see what happens in the Senate. Will they also pass legislation?
Excerpts from The Beacon: U.S. House passes PFAS bill regulating ‘forever chemicals’ in drinking water
The U.S. House on July 21 passed bipartisan legislation that would regulate toxic chemicals found in drinking water, as well as designate two types of those toxic chemicals as hazardous substances that would spark federal cleanup standards. ...continue reading "Legislation That Would Regulate “Forever Chemicals”"