Biden Rule To Restrict “Forever Chemicals” in Drinking Water

( — The Environmental Protection Agency announced the first-ever national standards to limit the amount of PFAS (per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances) in drinking water, CBS News reported.

Known as “forever chemicals” because they take thousands of years to break down, PFAS are found in soil, air, and water, according to the EPA.

Studies show that exposure to some PFAS could be harmful to humans and animals.

In an April 10 press release, the agency said PFAS have been linked to cancer and impacts the heart and liver. The agency said that while no level of exposure to PFAS is safe, it would require that all public water utilities test for six specific PFAS chemicals in drinking water.

According to the EPA, the new standard would reduce exposure for 100 million Americans, preventing thousands of illnesses and deaths.

EPA Administrator Michael Regan said in the press release that contaminated drinking water “has plagued communities across the country for too long.”

To help utility companies comply with the EPA’s new standards, the agency has set aside $1 billion to help states implement testing and treatment. The bipartisan Infrastructure Law enacted in 2021 provided $9 billion to combat PFAS contamination.

Chairwoman Brenda Mallory of the White House Council on Environmental Quality credited President Biden with the new standards, saying he promised to deliver “access to clean, safe drinking water.”

The chemicals have been in use since the 1940s. PFAS are heat resistant and can repel water and oil. Manufacturers have known since the 1950s that PFAS were toxic but they continued to use the chemicals.

In a press briefing on Wednesday, Administrator Regan said the chemicals are used in cleaning supplies, personal care products, and even nonstick cookware.

According to the EPA, research on PFAS has confirmed that some levels of exposure could cause various health issues, including reproductive problems, immunosuppression, some types of cancer, low birth weight, and developmental delays in children.

Copyright 2024,