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The severity of the world-wide incursion of PFAS, called “forever chemicals,” has caught the attention of US legislators. In mid-June, three senators from both sides of the political spectrum authored an amendment that would compel the Environmental Protection Agency to finally set limits to such chemicals in drinking water.

PFAS accumulate in the body due to their longevity. Many kinds will not degrade in the environment, and they travel easily and far in water. There are many health effects brought about by aggregation in the human body, including different types of cancer, elevated cholesterol, liver damage, and hormone production.

The amendment, written by Senators Capito (R-W. Va), Carper (D-Del), and Barrasso (R-Wyo), would pressure the EPA to set stricter limits by year end. Currently, the EPA has set a recommendation of no more than 70 parts per trillion in drinking water, but this is not a formal standard. Many states have set their own standards, which are tougher than what the EPA recommends, but without federal guidelines, other states remain silent on this deadly issue.

Sources:

https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/448659-congress-would-force-epa-to-regulate-harmful-forever-chemicals-in

https://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/insight/these-chemicals-are-forever-water-contamination-pfoa-pfos-and-other-pfas

https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/pfas/health-effects.html

https://www.cleanwateraction.org/2018/08/02/breaking-down-forever-chemicals-%E2%80%93what-are-pfas