Read the full article here by Lisa Friedman (The New York Times)
“The Biden administration on Monday said it would require chemical manufacturers to test and publicly report the amount of a family of chemicals known as PFAS that is contained in household items like tape, nonstick pans and stain-resistant furniture, the first step toward reducing their presence in drinking water.
Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl compounds, or PFAS refers to more than 4,000 man-made chemicals that are often called ‘forever chemicals’ because they don’t break down in the environment. Exposure to the chemicals has been linked to certain cancers, weakened immunity, thyroid disease, and other health effects.
Michael S. Regan, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, said in an interview that regulating PFAS has been one of his priorities. He previously served as the top environmental regulator in North Carolina where startlingly high concentrations of the chemicals were found in several sources of public drinking water.
‘PFAS contamination has been devastating communities for decades. I saw this first hand in North Carolina,’ Mr. Regan said. He recounted visiting with mothers unsure if their children’s drinking water was safe, and caregivers wondering if a loved one’s terminal illness was associated with exposure to the chemicals.
The new E.P.A. testing requirements will go into effect ‘in a matter of weeks,’ Mr. Regan said. The agency did not provide an estimate of the cost to manufacturers but Mr. Regan said it is a cost that industry, not taxpayers, should bear.”…