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Monthly Archives

April 2021

$11.9M settlement reached over PFAS contamination in Parchment drinking water

By | PFAS in the news

A $11.9 million settlement was reached in a lawsuit filed over high levels of PFAS contamination in Parchment drinking water.

Jesika Sage, Parchment resident, said her family of nine, like many others in Parchment, have been dealing with contaminated waters for years.

“I think it’s a step in the right direction but how do you put a price tag on a community that’s been poisoned for years on end for profit,” Sage said. Read more…

Committee recommends stricter water standards for ‘forever chemicals’

By | PFAS in the news

A legislative committee voted Friday to endorse stricter health standards for PFAS in drinking water and to require that schools, day care centers and community water systems test their wells for the “forever chemicals.”

If approved by the full Legislature, the proposal would add Maine to the growing list of states that have adopted stringent contamination limits on PFAS in the absence of a federal standard. The bill would set an interim limit of 20 parts per trillion in drinking water for specific types of PFAS – compared to a federal advisory level of 70 parts per trillion – while giving the Maine Department of Health and Human Services time to develop an official maximum contaminant level. Read more…

Flurry Of PFAS Actions In The First 100 Days Of The Biden Administration: The Highlights

By | PFAS in the news

The first 100 days of the Biden Administration saw a flurry of activities at the federal level seeking to address PFAS, a class of thousands of manmade chemicals notoriously known as Forever Chemicals because they don’t break down in the environment.

Studies continue to report adverse health effects associated with exposure to PFAS, even at extremely small concentrations.  Studies are also increasingly finding high rates of PFAS in our everyday environment including drinking water, consumer and household products, food packaging, and more.  However, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has not yet established any enforceable drinking water or remediation standards for any PFAS chemical.  See the PFAS Practice Tip at the end of the article regarding regulatory actions at the state level. Read more…

Volunteer Firefighters Have Higher Levels of “Forever Chemicals”

By | PFAS in the news

Volunteer firefighters — who comprise more than 65 percent of the U.S. fire service — have higher levels of “forever chemicals,” per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), in their bodies than the general public, according to a Rutgers study.

The study, which was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, compared the levels of nine PFAS chemicals in the blood of volunteer firefighters against levels in the general population.

It is the first study to evaluate volunteer firefighters’ exposure to PFAS, which arechemicals that accumulate in human bodies and in the environment and are found in everyday items like electronics and carpeting. PFAS have been associated with numerous health conditions that impact firefighters, including cardiovascular disease. Increasing evidence has linked them to cancer. Read more…

Wendy’s announces ban on toxic chemicals in food packaging

By | PFAS in the news

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Fast-food chain Wendy’s recently reported that it will eliminate toxic chemicals PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) from its consumer-facing packaging in the U.S. and Canada by the end of 2021. The company also reports that it is establishing a restricted substances list (RSL) in the U.S.

The company stated: “In the U.S., we are establishing a restricted substances list…we anticipate full elimination of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, commonly called PFAS, from consumer-facing packaging in the U.S. and Canada by the end of 2021.” (emphasis added)

“Wendy’s is taking meaningful action at a pace we’re thrilled to see,” explains Mike Schade, Mind the Store campaign director. “This announcement proves that it is feasible for large companies to phase out PFAS in food packaging by the end of this year. But now the big question is, will Burger King finally take action? Our testing found that these chemicals are likely being used in packaging at Burger King—including the wrapper for the Whopper. With more than 2 million Whoppers sold per day, this impacts millions of people each week.” Read more…

EPA creates new PFAS council, narrows exemption for new PFAS

By | PFAS in the news

WASHINGTON – Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan announced the creation of a new council to accelerate and coordinate efforts to reduce and remediate the toxic “forever chemicals” known as PFAS.

“We’re glad to see the administrator continues to make PFAS a priority, and we ultimately need a whole of government approach to PFAS that includes the Department of Defense, the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Aviation Administration, not just the EPA,” said Scott Faber, the Environmental Working Group’s senior vice president for government affairs.

“We’re also glad to see the administrator say that this new council is no substitute for quick action, such as a hazardous substance designation, a drinking water standard, restrictions on industrial releases, a moratorium on new PFAS and a moratorium on the disposal of PFAS wastes,” he said. Read more…

EPA creates new PFAS council, narrows exemption for new PFAS

By | PFAS in the news

WASHINGTON – Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan announced the creation of a new council to accelerate and coordinate efforts to reduce and remediate the toxic “forever chemicals” known as PFAS.

“We’re glad to see the administrator continues to make PFAS a priority, and we ultimately need a whole of government approach to PFAS that includes the Department of Defense, the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Aviation Administration, not just the EPA,” said Scott Faber, the Environmental Working Group’s senior vice president for government affairs.

“We’re also glad to see the administrator say that this new council is no substitute for quick action, such as a hazardous substance designation, a drinking water standard, restrictions on industrial releases, a moratorium on new PFAS and a moratorium on the disposal of PFAS wastes,” he said. Read more…

Most PFAS Get Approved Through Loopholes. Advocates are Pushing to Change This.

By | PFAS in the news

WASHINGTON, D.C.

Today, Earthjustice filed a petition on behalf of a diverse coalition of community organizations, first responders, and environmental advocates asking the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to close regulatory loopholes in the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) that companies repeatedly exploit to get new PFAS approved. Today’s petition argues that PFAS pose far too much risk to health to allow companies making or using new PFAS to circumvent the individual safety review process TSCA mandates.

“The nation is awash in PFAS. Yet EPA continues to approve new PFAS even though it knows the risks such chemicals may pose to human health and the environment,” says Suzanne Novak, Earthjustice staff attorney. “Even worse, EPA allows companies to circumvent the regular safety review process for new PFAS in violation of TSCA and in ways that have already impacted entire communities. That must stop.” Read more…

Silent Spring to host virtual PFAS forum May 18

By | PFAS in the news, PFAS-REACH team news

HYANNIS — The Silent Spring Institute and its partners invite current and former Hyannis residents to a virtual community event on Tuesday, May 18 to learn about the Massachusetts PFAS and Your Health Study.

The new federally-funded Cape Cod study aims to increase understanding of the health impacts from past exposure to PFAS in drinking water.

The study is part of a nationwide effort to learn more about the relationship between harmful PFAS contaminants in drinking water and their human health effects by studying affected communities around the country, including Cape Cod. Read more…