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PFAS: EPA Announces Plans to Work on Toxic “Eternal Chemicals”

PFAS are called “permanent chemicals” because they last so long in the environment and are associated with health problems such as cancer and weight loss at birth.

Washington- Biden administration said on Monday We have launched a wide range of strategies to regulate toxic industrial compounds associated with serious health conditions used in products ranging from cookware to carpets. Fire extinguishing foam..

Michael Regan, Head Environmental Protection Agency, His agency said it is taking a series of actions to limit contamination from clusters of long-lasting chemicals known as PFAS. Public drinking water system, With a private well Even food..

The Pentagon says it is moving to assess and clean up PFAS-contaminated sites nationwide, and the Food and Drug Administration plans to expand food supply testing to estimate American exposure to PFAS from food. .. The Department of Agriculture will also step up efforts to prevent and combat PFAS contamination in food.

The plan aims to limit the release of PFAS to the environment and accelerate the cleanup of PFAS-contaminated sites, including: Military base Increase your investment in research to learn more about where PFAS is discovered and how it can prevent its spread.

“This is a bold strategy that begins with immediate action,” Reagan said in an interview with The Associated Press, including additional steps for President Joe Biden to “pass this first term.” .. A toolbox for limiting human exposure to these toxic chemicals. “

PFAS is called a “permanent chemical” because it lasts so long in the environment and is associated with serious health conditions such as cancer and weight loss at birth.

PFAS stands for Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl materials used in non-stick frying pans, water repellent sports gear, antifouling rugs and countless other consumer products. Chemical bonds are so strong that they either do not break down in the environment or break down only slowly and stay in the human bloodstream indefinitely.

Under the strategy announced on Monday, the EPA will move to set aggressive drinking water limits for PFAS under the Safe Drinking Water Act, requiring PFAS manufacturers to report on the toxicity of their products. Authorities also designate PFAS as a toxic substance under the so-called Superfund Act, which allows the EPA to pay or force the companies responsible for pollution to do the cleanup work.

The measure will make it easier for the EPA to ensure that cleanups are carried out safely and that “polluters bear the costs,” Regan said.

The Environmental and Public Health Group welcomed this announcement. Proponents have long encouraged action against PFAS by the EPA, FDA, Pentagon and other agencies.

According to the Environmental Working Group, a research and advocacy group, thousands of communities have detected PFAS chemicals in water, and PFAS has been identified in nearly 400 military installations.

Scott Farber, Senior Vice President of the Group, said: The group is grateful to the Biden administration for addressing PFAS and fulfilling the president’s promise to “begin to stop using industrial PFAS pollution,” Faber said.

The American Chemistry Council, which represents major chemical companies, said it supported “strong science-based regulation of chemicals, including PFAS,” but the group added: Same way. The EPA roadmap emphasizes the differences between these chemicals and emphasizes that they should not all be grouped together. We hope and expect that federal action will be in line with sound science. “

Regulatory strategies are when Congress sets national drinking water standards for specific PFAS chemicals and considers a wide range of legislation to clean up contaminated areas across the country, including military bases where high rates of PFAS were found. Will be brought.

A law passed by the House of Representatives directs the EPA to set national drinking water standards for PFAS and to develop emission limits for various industries suspected of releasing PFAS into water. The bill is stuck in the Senate.

Congressman Debbie Dingell, the lead sponsor of the House bill, praised the EPA’s announcement and said cleanup of PFAS-contaminated sites should begin immediately.

“We’ve known PFAS and its dangerous effects for years, but today the federal government has promised the American people that these chemicals can no longer be ignored,” she said. ..

Despite the actions of the EPA, Congress must approve legislation to regulate and purify PFAS, Dingell said. “It’s time for the Senate to act,” she said.

Former North Carolina environmental regulator Reagan, who took over as head of the EPA in March, said he saw first-hand how dangerous PFAS was in his home state.

As North Carolina’s Chief Environmental Officer, Regan led the negotiations, resulting in Cape Fear RiverDangerously contaminated with PFAS industrial compounds released over decades from a manufacturing plant operated by the spin-off of the chemical giant DuPont.

“I spent time with family members in their community and talked about the fears and worries they had,” said Regan, who announced the agency’s plans at a press conference in Raleigh. “I talked to a mother who was concerned about the potential long-term effects on her child and a caregiver who suspected that the terminal illness of her loved one might be involved,” Fayetteville said. Related to PFAS emissions from building factories.

“That’s why it’s urgent,” he added.

While praising the enforcement measures in North Carolina, Mr Regan said the state would have been in a stronger position “if the federal government had been a better, stronger partner.”

The EPA under his leadership “did more in eight months” at PFAS than the previous administration did in four years, he said.

Authorities expect to propose a draft rule on PFAS in drinking water by 2023, Regan said. “We will act as quickly as possible to set these safe drinking water limits,” he said.

Action against PFAS will not take place “behind the American people,” Regan added. “We make polluters accountable and use the full range of statutory authority to ensure that they pay for what they do.”

PFAS: EPA Announces Plans to Work on Toxic “Eternal Chemicals”

Source link PFAS: EPA Announces Plans to Work on Toxic “Eternal Chemicals”

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