The state of California on Thursday sued the manufacturers of a class of chemicals known as “forever chemicals” that are found in a variety of consumer items including food packaging and cookware and are linked to cancer and other illnesses. The chemicals at the heart of the lawsuit are perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, commonly referred to as PFAS. They are resistant to environmental degradation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Environmental Protection Agency, and hundreds of scientific studies.
The Environmental Protection Agency warned Wednesday that a group of human-made chemicals found in the drinking water, cosmetics and food packaging used by millions of Americans poses a greater danger to human health than regulators previously thought.
The new health advisories for a ubiquitous class of compounds known as polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, underscore the risk facing dozens of communities across the country. Linked to infertility, thyroid problems and several types of cancer, these “forever chemicals” can persist in the environment for years without breaking down.
Dangerous levels of toxic PFAS are contaminating water supplies in areas around at least 12 military bases, new Department of Defense testing has revealed, drawing concern from public health advocates that the DoD is not doing enough to protect the public.
The data released this week by the military shows levels for five kinds of PFAS compounds at what Scott Faber, vice-president of government affairs for Environmental Working Group, characterized as “extremely high” levels, and he said they present a health threat to residents living nearby.
Polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, are a class of man-made chemicals that break down slowly in the environment, can accumulate in the human body and have been linked to all manner of negative health effects from cancer to high cholesterol.
But these “forever chemicals” are nearly impossible to avoid. They are, quite literally, all around us: in consumer products, from cosmetics and cookware to food packaging and firefighting foam; in our food supply; in the soil, air and water; and even running through our veins.
High levels of toxic, widely used “forever chemicals” contaminate groundwater around at least six military sites in the Great Lakes region, according to U.S. Department of Defense records that an environmental group released Tuesday.
The Environmental Working Group said PFAS, an abbreviation for perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, have oozed into the Great Lakes and pose a risk to people who eat fish tainted with the chemicals.
California took a major step today towards regulating dangerous “forever chemicals” in drinking water by proposing new health limits for two of the most pervasive contaminants.
State environmental health officials recommended goals of one part per trillion and less — a minuscule amount 70 times smaller than the federal government’s non-binding guideline for drinking water nationwide.
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.
Six states with drinking water standards for so-called “forever chemicals” are now wrestling with what those limits mean when water contamination from Department of Defense sites seep into their communities.
Members of Congress from both parties are starting to vent their frustration at military foot-dragging even as the states take different paths to address the contamination. One state is suing. Another must wait years for an investigation to end. A third is keeping a watchful eye on the Biden administration.
Tom Kennedy learned about the long-term contamination of his family’s drinking water about two months after he was told that his breast cancer had metastasized to his brain and was terminal.
The troubles tainting his tap: per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, a broad category of chemicals invented in the mid-1900s to add desirable properties such as stain-proofing and anti-sticking to shoes, cookware and other everyday objects.
In the weeks before the coronavirus began tearing through California, the city of Commerce made an expensive decision: It shut down part of its water supply.
Like nearly 150 other public water systems in California, the small city on the outskirts of Los Angeles had detected “forever chemicals” in its well water.