Read the full article by Ryan Felton (Consumer Reports)
“Lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced a bill on Tuesday that would require the Environmental Protection Agency to start regulating PFAS chemicals in drinking water and declare them hazardous substances, steps that would allow for the cleanup of contaminated sites across the country.
The legislation follows a recent investigation by Consumer Reports and the Guardian US news organization into the nation’s drinking water, which found measurable levels of PFAS—short for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances—in the vast majority of 120 water tap water samples taken around the U.S.
PFAS chemicals are used by manufacturers to make everything from nonstick cookware to stain-resistant fabric, and the compounds can seep into water from factories, landfills, and other sources. Because they don’t easily break down in the environment, they’re often called ‘forever chemicals.’ Upward of 200 million people are estimated to be exposed to water contaminated by PFAS, according to estimates by the Environmental Working Group, an advocacy organization.
Introduced by Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., the PFAS Action Act would take several steps to begin addressing that contamination.
‘Let’s be very clear, PFAS is an urgent public health and environmental threat,’ Dingell said at a news conference Tuesday. ‘And the number of contamination sites nationwide is growing at an alarming rate, including our military bases.’
‘Setting drinking water standards and designating PFAS as hazardous substances under the EPA’s Superfund program will accelerate the clean-up process in communities and at military facilities all across this nation,’ she added.
CRs’ safety advocates have endorsed the legislation, which has garnered bipartisan support.
‘This bill is long overdue because, despite mounting evidence that PFAS contamination is widespread and can pose serious health risks, the EPA has failed to act to protect public health,’ says Brian Ronholm, CR’s director of food policy…”