Every day millions of people across the country are exposed to food and drinking water contaminated with toxic chemicals known as PFAS. Though regulators have been aware of the PFAS crisis for decades, the federal EPA’s plan to address PFAS contamination has fallen exceedingly short of what’s needed to protect communities and has been more talk than action. Finally, the Environmental Protection Agency has announced long-overdue timelines for curtailing PFAS pollution. However, many of the actions it is promising are too far in the future and don’t offer enough protection. We must urge the administration to implement stronger protections with more aggressive timelines from these toxic chemicals now.
“PFAS” is short for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances and they are a class of more than 5,000 substances found in everyday products like waterproof jackets, nonstick pans, food wrappers, and personal care products. They persist in the environment for up to hundreds of years, readily spread from sources of contamination, and can remain in our bodies for decades -which is why they are known as “forever chemicals.” They’ve been linked to serious medical problems, including cancer, infertility, impaired fetal development, and have the potential to impair the immune system and decrease vaccine effectiveness.
According to the EPA’s proposed roadmap the agency says it will set enforceable drinking water limits on certain PFAS in two years. But communities need protection now. And they need assurance that their water will be free of all PFAS, but the promised standards would only cover two of the thousands of PFAS in existence. We urge the EPA to protect our drinking water on a faster timeline – and from all PFAS. We are also disappointed that EPA’s roadmap does not include a promise to stop approving new variants of toxic PFAS. Our water, air, and homes are already contaminated with PFAS that are so persistent they are hard to eliminate. Enough is enough.
Chemical manufacturers continue to produce and release these “forever chemicals,” poisoning us and our families. Tell the EPA to speed up its timeline for action to end ongoing pollution from PFAS chemicals!