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EPA To Require Utilities To Remove PFAS From Drinking Water

EPA To Require Utilities To Remove PFAS From Drinking Water

The New York Times reports, “For the first time, the federal government will require utilities to remove from drinking water two toxic chemicals found in everything from waterproof clothing to dental floss and even toilet paper, the Environmental Protection Agency announced on Tuesday.” EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan “said the government intends to require near-zero levels of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, part of a class of chemicals known as known as PFAS. Exposure to the chemicals has been linked to cancer, liver damage, fertility and thyroid problems, asthma and other health effects.”

The Washington Post reports this proposal “would require water utilities to detect and reduce PFAS contamination at 4 parts per trillion.” The EPA “had warned in June that the compounds pose a greater danger to human health than regulators previously thought, compromising people’s immune and cardiovascular systems at a lifetime exposure of between just 0.004 to 0.02 parts per trillion, depending on the type of compound.”

CNN reports while “there are thousands of PFAS chemicals, according to the National Institutes of Health, under the rule, water systems would have to monitor for six specific chemicals, notify the public about PFAS levels and work to reduce them if levels go above the standard allowed.”

Reuters reports, “The Biden administration has directed $10 billion to help communities reduce PFAS and other contaminants through passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.” This “is the first time since 1996 that drinking water standards have been proposed for a new chemical under the Safe Drinking Water Act.”