next year Concerns have prompted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to move this week to purify drinking water. announcement Japan’s first standard for six “eternal chemicals” in tap water. That’s the ominous, unofficial name for the man-made chemical that coats nonstick pans, food packaging, and waterproof clothing before it finally enters the water you drink. Known as alkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, they are commonly found in nearly everyone, including newborns. baby.
If EPA’s rule is finalized, public water companies will need to monitor chemicals and keep levels of PFOA and PFOS, two widely studied chemicals, below 4ppt, near the lowest measurable thresholds. I have. The rule also regulates the total amount of the other four PFAS chemicals.
Experts say the proposal is monumental. Not only is this the first US national standard to regulate levels of these chemicals, it also enables extensive data collection to see which communities are most affected by pollution. Implementing these much-needed fixes can take years and is expensive. Still, experts believe it is an important first step in combating the PFAS problem and could significantly improve water quality across the country.
“These are very powerful, historic moves to protect our health and really limit our exposure to pollution from these chemicals,” said a nonprofit focused on health and environmental advocacy. “There are a lot of opportunities to build from this,” says David Andrews, a senior scientist with the Environmental Working Group.
PFAS regulation has not yet materialized. This is a proposed action that has gone through a public comment period and may be finalized this year. If adopted formally, many public water systems would incur new costs, requiring not only testing, but filtering the water when contaminants are detected. In some communities he may not see results until 2026, as utilities have three years to comply with the rule.
The dangers of PFAS chemicals are becoming increasingly apparent. High levels of exposure can cause fertility problems, growth retardation in children, and reduced immune responses, he said. EPAIt may also increase the risk of some cancers, including prostate cancer, kidney cancer, and testicular cancer.
The U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report In 2022, health care providers should counsel and test patients who are likely to have increased PFAS exposure based on where they live or work. EPA officials estimate that cleaner water could prevent thousands of deaths and tens of thousands of serious illnesses in the United States.
Katie Pelch, a scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a non-profit environmental advocacy group, said regulating two commonly studied chemicals and four additional chemicals would ” It’s a very important first step.” But we still have much to learn about this vast array of chemicals and their prevalence. “This is still just a proposal to regulate her six PFASs out of thousands of classes of chemicals,” she continues. The process of removing PFAS may also address other chemicals in drinking water, such as pharmaceuticals, flame retardants, and consumer products.