The United States Environmental Protection Agency today has issued four advisories on the potential for “forever chemicals” in water supplies. The term PFAS covers per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances which are used in the manufacture of many products people use every day such as non-stick cookware, food packaging, electronics, and more. These substances do not break down and can accumulate in the human body and blood over many years and have been linked to cancer and diseases that affect the immune system.
The four advisories are for specific substances.
“The updated advisory levels [for PFOA and PFOS], which are based on new science and consider lifetime exposure, indicate that some negative health effects may occur with concentrations of PFOA or PFOS in water that are near zero and below EPA’s ability to detect at this time,” reads a press release announcing the steps. “The lower the level of PFOA and PFOS, the lower the risk to public health.”
This fall, the EPA will issue new regulations on drinking water related to PFAS. There’s also $1 billion in funding for states and localities to install equipment in drinking water supplies to filter out the substances. The Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority has applied for a $21 million grant to remove the contaminants by upgrading filtration systems, according to the May agenda.
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