United Kingdom
This article was added by the user Anna. TheWorldNews is not responsible for the content of the platform.

Biden administration will force manufacturers to record toxic 'forever chemicals'

On Monday the Biden administration announced a new plan to regulate 'forever chemicals' known as PFAS, which are found in a litany of everyday products and have been linked to cancer.  

PFAS,  Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl compounds, the group of over 4,000 'forever chemicals,' is known as such because they do not ever break down in the environment. 

The Environmental Protection Agency unveiled a plan to require chemical manufacturers to test and issue public reports on the amount of PFAS increasingly turning up in drinking water, in addition to household products like tape, non-stick pans and rain-resistant clothing, as PFAS are often used to make things water-proof or grease-proof.  

Under the new plan, the EPA will aggressively limit the amount of PFAS allowed in drinking water and require PFAS companies to report on how toxic their products are.

The testing requirements are expected to take effect in a matter of weeks. EPA chief Michael Regan said the testing could pose a costly burden, but the responsibility fell to the chemical industry to pay, not taxpayers.

EPA chief Michael Regan said the testing could pose a costly burden, but the responsibility fell to the chemical industry to pay, not taxpayers

PFAS, found in drinking water across the country, have been linked to certain cancers, decreased immunity, thyroid disease and other health defects

'It could be expensive, but it's necessary,' he said, according to the New York Times.  

PFAS have been linked to certain cancers, decreased immunity, thyroid disease and other health defects.

The EPA currently regulates 90 drinking water contaminants but not PFAS.  The toxic chemicals have been found in drinking water systems across 2,854 locations in all 50 states, according to advocacy nonprofit Environmental Working Group.  

Regan recalled a time when he was top environmental regulator in North Carolina and shockingly high levels of PFAS were found in the drinking water. 

'PFAS contamination has been devastating communities for decades. I saw this first hand in North Carolina,' he said. 

Officials don't expect drinking water restrictions to roll out until 2023. ' We're going to move as quickly as possible to set these safe drinking water limits,' Regan said. 

The EPA has set a lifetime health advisory for two types of PFAS in drinking water at 70 parts per trillion, warning to go beyond such limits could have health effects. Years of contamination of Cape Fear River in Wilmington, N.C. by a Dupont plant (now Chemours) led to PFAS levels of up to 6,000 at one point. 

'I spent time with families in their communities, talking to them about the fears and worries that they had,' said Regan, announcing the regulations at a news conference in Raleigh. 

'I spent time talking to mothers who were concerned about potential long-term impacts to their children, caregivers who were wondering if terminal illnesses of their loved ones were connected' to PFAS from chemical plants.  

The EPA also plans to designate the class of chemicals as a hazardous substance, so that contaminated areas can be designated as Superfund sites, thus allowing the EPA to prioritize cleanup. 

The Department of Defense, one of the nation's most egregious PFAS polluters, plans to review how  to clean PFAS contamination at nearly 700 military installations across the country. The chemical is used in fire fighting foam by the military and civilian firefighters.