‘It’s been more than 20 years since EPA and EWG first learned these toxic chemicals were building up in our blood and increasing the likelihood of cancer and other health harms.’
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set out a ‘Comprehensive Strategic Roadmap’ for tackling per – and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination.
The Roadmap is based on three ‘guiding strategies’: Increased investment in research, immediate action to restrict PFAS chemicals from being released into the environment, and accelerating the clean-up of PFAS contamination. The Roadmap also commits the EPA to quickly set enforceable drinking water limits for PFAS as well as giving stronger tools to communities to protect human health and the environment.
EPA Administrator Michael Regan said; ‘For far too long, families across America – especially those in underserved communities – have suffered from PFAS in their water, their air or in the land their children play on. This comprehensive PFAS strategy will deliver protections…by advancing bold and concrete actions that address the full lifecycle of these chemicals.’ US President Biden has called for more than $10 billion in funding to address PFAS contamination through his Administration’s Build Back Better agenda and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal.
PFAS chemicals are used in products from non-stick coating, fire extinguishing foam to personal care.
Along with the Roadmap, the EPA announced a national testing strategy requiring PFAS manufacturers to provide the Agency with toxicity data and information on categories of PFAS chemicals. The EPA’s initial set of test orders for PFAS are expected in a matter of months.
Commenting, Ken Cook, President of the Environmental Working Group said; ‘It’s been more than 20 years since EPA and EWG first learned these toxic chemicals were building up in our blood and increasing our likelihood of cancer and other health harms. It’s time for action, not more plans, and that’s what this Administrator will deliver.’
PFAS are a group of chemicals which have been used widely due to their useful properties. However, these chemicals, which can be used in products from fire extinguishing foam through to personal care, have been found to accumulate in the environment, and the human body impacting health.