PFAS are toxic chemicals that can persist in human bodies and in the environment for decades, which is why it is so important to urge the Environmental Protection Agency to classify them as hazardous. Enacted by Congress in 1980, the Superfund law was designed to clean up communities polluted by the kind of toxic contamination that PFAS have created - but PFAS are not currently covered by the law. Send a letter to the EPA today to show your support for adding PFAS to the Superfund list, and advocate for the cleanup of this public health crisis!
“PFAS,” which stands for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a class of thousands of what are known as "forever chemicals" that are nondegradable, accumulate in human bodies and the environment, and are extremely toxic, even at miniscule levels. PFAS can be found in everyday products like nonstick pans, waterproof jackets, mascara, and hairspray. In addition, they’ve been detected in the drinking water supplies of major cities like New York, Washington D.C., and Chicago.
The EPA has proposed to designate the two most notorious PFAS – PFOA and PFOS – as hazardous substances under the Superfund law. EPA's decision to add these chemicals to the Superfund list is an important first step in holding polluters accountable for contaminating communities. Even though some states have already implemented their own clean-up laws, creating federal standards is essential in order to spur clean-up of the most contaminated areas.
PFOA and PFAS were created in the 1940s and used in products like Teflon and firefighting foam. Companies like 3M and Dupont manufactured and dumped PFOA and PFOS for much of the 20th century, despite knowing these chemicals were harmful and resulting in widespread drinking water contamination. 3M recently announced that they will stop making PFAS by the end of 2025, but this doesn’t reverse the damage done throughout the decades. For decades, the military has also polluted communities via PFAS containing firefighting foam used extensively during training exercises. Today, PFOA and PFOS have been largely phased out of production in the United States due to links to cancers and birth defects - but they are still being produced globally in products that are imported into the U.S. Many of the newer PFAS break down into PFOA and PFOS, which will continue to build up in the environment unless clean-up is required. Meanwhile, more than 95% of the U.S. population has PFAS in their bodies, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Enough is enough. Forever chemicals can't be allowed to forever contaminate our communities. Take action with Earthjustice today to tell the EPA to clean up these toxic chemicals from our daily lives!