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Monthly Archives

March 2021

How Safe Is Our Drinking Water?

By PFAS in the news

In Connecticut, a condo had lead in its drinking water at levels more than double what the federal government deems acceptable. At a church in North Carolina, the water was contaminated with extremely high levels of potentially toxic PFAS chemicals (a group of compounds found in hundreds of household products). The water flowing into a Texas home had both – and concerning amounts of arsenic too.

All three were among locations that had water tested as part of a nine-month investigation by Consumer Reports (CR) and the Guardian into the US’s drinking water.

Since the passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972, access to safe water for all Americans has been a US government goal. Yet millions of people continue to face serious water quality problems because of contamination, deteriorating infrastructure, and inadequate treatment at water plants. Read more…

Bill targets PFAS firefighting foam but allows continued use

By PFAS in the news

DOVER, Del. — The Delaware Senate has passed a bill that purports to restrict the use of firefighting foam containing certain chemical compounds associated with cancer and other health problems while allowing continued use of the foam to fight fires.

The legislation approved Tuesday prohibits the discharge of firefighting foam containing added fluorinated organic chemicals known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS — except for fighting fires, fire prevention operations, and testing and training. Read more…

Lowe’s Bans PFAS in Fabric Protector Sprays

By PFAS in the news

In a step forward for public health, Lowe’s has banned the sale of fabric protectors that contain toxic PFAS chemicals in its stores.

PFAS chemicals (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are a class of thousands of man-made chemicals often used to confer increased resistance to oil, water, and dirt. These chemicals have contaminated the air, soil, water, plants, and wildlife, and endanger our health. PFAS are linked to a variety of health problems, among them cancer and developmental issues, and can be harmful at extremely low doses. They can impact the immune system and these health impacts and others could make us more vulnerable to COVID-19. Read more…

Industry Eyeing EPA’s Hustle to Control ‘Forever Chemicals’

By PFAS in the news

Industry attorneys say they’re bracing for a wave of corporate liability and litigation as the Biden administration works swiftly to fulfill a campaign promise to control “forever chemicals.”

The Environmental Protection Agency this month announced it’s working on three water-related regulations for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS. It sent a fourth chemical data-collection proposal to the Office of Management and Budget, or OMB, for approval.

In the near future, the agency is likely to list some or all PFAS as hazardous waste, triggering cleanups and financial obligations for companies nationwide, attorneys counseling chemical and other manufacturers said. Read more…

UK ‘flying blind’ on levels of toxic chemicals in tap water

By PFAS in the news

The UK government is not testing drinking water for a group of toxic manmade chemicals linked to a range of diseases including cancers, while across the world people are falling sick and suing for hundreds of millions of dollars at a time after finding the substances in their tap water.

Known collectively as PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), or “forever chemicals” because they are designed never to break down in the environment, the substances are used for their water- and grease-repellent properties in everything from cookware and clothing to furniture, carpets, packaging, coatings and firefighting foams. Read more…

Researchers find harmful ‘forever chemicals’ in pesticide used against mosquitoes in Maryland

By PFAS in the news

Lab tests ordered by environmental groups found harmful chemicals, called PFAS, in a pesticide that Maryland uses for its mosquito control program, the groups said Thursday.

PFAS — per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances — are known as “forever chemicals” because they don’t break down in nature, and they’re found in all kinds of products, from nonstick cookware to firefighting foams. Read more…

The US military is poisoning communities across the US with toxic chemicals

By PFAS in the news

One of the most enduring, indestructible toxic chemicals known to man – Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF), which is a PFAS “forever chemical” – is being secretly incinerated next to disadvantaged communities in the United States. The people behind this crackpot operation? It’s none other than the US military.

As new data published by Bennington College this week documents, the US military ordered the clandestine burning of over 20m pounds of AFFF and AFFF waste between 2016-2020. That’s despite the fact that there is no evidence that incineration actually destroys these synthetic chemicals. In fact, there is good reason to believe that burning AFFF simply emits these toxins into the air and onto nearby communities, farms, and waterways. The Pentagon is effectively conducting a toxic experiment and has enrolled the health of millions of Americans as unwitting test subjects. Read more…

‘Biodegradable’ drinking straws contain PFAS

By PFAS in the news

As consumers turn to alternatives to single-use plastic, drinking straws made of plant-based materials like paper are coming into wider use, and many are marketed as biodegradable or even compostable. But an analysis of drinking straws available in the US detected 21 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)—called “forever chemicals” for their extreme resistance to environmental breakdown—in 36 out of 38 brands of plant-based straws tested. Read more…

‘Buyer beware’: Ads hide PFAS cookware risks

By PFAS in the news

Consumers trying to avoid toxic chemicals in their nonstick cookware face convoluted advertising claims that can confuse even the most well-informed buyers.

Take Diana Zuckerman, who, as president of the National Center for Health Research, is more familiar than the average person with chemistry and toxicology. Still, she said, trying to determine which pans and cookware did not contain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a class of toxic substances linked to cancer and other health problems, was no easy task.

DEP finds PFAS in one-third of public water systems; none exceeded EPA limit

By PFAS in the news

About one-third of 114 Pennsylvania water systems tested for toxic PFAS chemicals were found to contain the substances over 17 months of sampling, although none exceeded a federal health advisory level for two of the most common chemicals, the Department of Environmental Protection said.

Amid growing national alarm about the presence of the so-called forever chemicals in drinking water, Pennsylvania has been testing water sources since June 2019 at the direction of Gov. Tom Wolf’s PFAS Action Team, which was set up by an executive order in 2018. Read more…