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EPA Has Revealed Limits To Be Placed On ‘Forever Chemicals’

You are currently viewing EPA Has Revealed Limits To Be Placed On ‘Forever Chemicals’
  • Post category:News

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) did something important for the first time. They set rules for six types of chemicals called perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water all across the country.

PFAS are nicknamed “forever chemicals” because they stick around for a really long time in the air, water, and soil. These chemicals are bad news because they can cause health problems like cancer, heart disease, and issues with having babies. Sadly, most people in the U.S. have some of these chemicals in their bodies.

The EPA made rules saying that two types of PFAS, called PFOA and PFOS, can’t be in public drinking water at levels higher than 4 parts per trillion. Three other types of PFAS should be limited to 10 parts per trillion. These chemicals were often used in things like nonstick pans and firefighting foam.

Even though companies stopped using PFOA and PFOS years ago, they’re still hanging around in the environment. And the new chemicals used instead, like GenX, can also cause problems.

The EPA wants public water systems to get rid of these chemicals completely because even tiny amounts can be harmful. They say there’s no safe level of exposure.

Some states already have rules about PFAS in drinking water, but now it’s a nationwide thing. This means lots of water systems will have to make changes to follow the new rules.

The EPA gave water systems a few years to start testing for PFAS. If they find too much, they have more time to figure out how to clean it up.

The EPA believes these new rules will save lives and prevent lots of people from getting sick.

PFAS can cause different health problems, like kidney cancer and liver issues. They can even harm the immune system and make it hard for kids to grow up healthy.

The EPA also set rules for when there are mixtures of different PFAS in the water. They want to make sure the total amount of these chemicals isn’t too high.

This change is a big deal for public health, according to some experts. They say it’s a step in the right direction, even though there’s still more work to do.

The government is giving money to help water systems test and clean up PFAS. But some places are also suing the companies that made these chemicals, trying to make them pay for the mess they caused.

Cleaning up water contaminated with PFAS isn’t easy, but it’s necessary to keep people safe. Even after water is treated, it can take years for the levels of PFAS in our bodies to go down.

These new rules are just the beginning. There are still many other types of PFAS out there that we need to worry about.