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New Limits on 'Forever Chemicals’ in Drinking Water

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the first-ever national drinking water standard to protect communities from exposure to toxic per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), commonly referred to as “forever chemicals”, which are used to make coatings and products that resist heat, oil, stains, grease and water. According to the EPA, “exposure to PFAS has been linked to deadly cancers, impacts to the liver and heart, and immune and developmental damage to infants and children.”

The rule is expected to reduce PFAS exposure for approximately 100 million people. Public water systems have three years to complete their initial testing for six PFAS categories, which will be paid for by a $1 billion dedicated federal fund. Where PFAS levels are found to exceed the new standards, public water systems must implement solutions within five years.

  • Issue: June 2024

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