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Monday, December 5, 2022

EPA finds no safe level for two toxic ‘forever chemicals,’ found in many U.S. water systems | USA Today

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The Association of Toxic Substances says that the newest technique for testing endocrine-disrupting substances puts 96% of Americans in danger.

The new cautions reduce the acceptable amount of the chemical PFOA by more than 17,000 times what the government deemed safe for human health. The news has enormous consequences for water providers, municipalities, and Americans. The compounds are per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), sometimes known as everlasting chemicals because of their resistance to decomposition. Wednesday, the EPA issued two new health recommendations for the PFAS compounds GenX and PFBS. Before a voluntary agreement between the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and industry that phased down their domestic manufacture in the 2000s, PFOA and PFOS, widely used in consumer products, have been the subject of the most research into their potential dangers.

Studies indicate that more than 96% of Americans have at least one PFAS in their blood. No person is likely to know when PFAS caused their sickness, but public health experts may identify the presence of PFAS by analyzing general disease rates. To eliminate the toxin, the military is investing millions in research to identify, comprehend, and filter it better. The regulation of the compounds, especially at low concentrations, has countrywide consequences for water utilities, industry, and the general public. To aid areas poisoned with PFAS, the EPA is providing the first $1 billion of a total of $5 billion in grant cash from the bipartisan infrastructure program approved last year.

Through current financing programs for water and sewer companies, an additional $6,6 billion may be accessible. The American Chemistry Council, a trade association representing several industries that utilize PFAS, said that the agency’s latest cautions are “fundamentally incorrect.” Regarding public health protection, Hagey noted that the EPA’s new recommendations are a “welcome surprise.” However, he is disappointed that the Department of Defense has neglected to treat the polluted groundwater underneath his village. The choice was expensive, totaling tens of millions of dollars and necessitating substantial increases in water bills.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has allocated $5.8 million to address the public health and cost implications of per-fluorinated substance (PFAS) pollution. The EPA has discovered that the chemicals are harmful at levels so low that they cannot be detected. A filter on a single water well may cost up to $500,000, while the removal and disposal of samples can cost up to $1 million.



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