According to the Environmental Protection Agency, per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are long-lasting chemicals that can persist in the environment for a long time and are found all over the world, including in the blood of humans and animals! These chemicals can cause illness and disease and are found in water, air, soil, and fish.
On March 14th, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a new rule to help keep us safe from six types of PFAS chemicals, including PFOA and PFOS. In our drinking water, these chemicals will be limited to four parts per trillion, with the goal of eventually reaching zero. The EPA also wants to reduce the Hazard Index MCL for four other PFAS chemicals to one. Public water companies will also be required to test for PFAS, report any findings, and reduce levels if they are too high.
EPA is proposing the first-ever national standard to limit PFAS in drinking water. This action is a major step to protect communities from PFAS pollution, leveraging the latest science and building on existing state efforts to limit PFAS. pic.twitter.com/iBw91oL5Xh
— U.S. EPA (@EPA) March 14, 2023
PFAS can cause illness and cancer. People are typically exposed to PFAS through their drinking water, but prior to the new rule, there were no restrictions on how much of it could be present in the water. The EPA believes the new rule will save many lives and reduce the likelihood of people becoming ill from PFAS.
Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia was overjoyed with the news. She stated that no one had done anything about PFAS in our drinking water for the previous three presidents, and she was relieved that the EPA was finally acting.
According to The Hill, Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) was happy about the news. She said the last three administrations had done nothing to set “safe drinking water standard[s],” and she was glad the EPA was finally making a move.