WASHINGTON (TND) — For years, Spotlight on America has reported on the dangers of the toxic “forever chemicals” called per- and polyfluorinated substances better known as PFAS. We’ve examined the pervasiveness of the chemicals in our environment and investigated their presence in our water supply.
On Tuesday, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed the first-ever PFAS standards to help protect America’s drinking water.
The Agency says the maximum allowable limit should be the lowest level that tests can detect, 4 parts per trillion for two of the most common PFAS: PFOA and PFOS. The proposal also requires water providers to test for the contaminant.
The EPA’s plan also includes regulation of other types of PFAS - specifically GenX chemicals which were used as a substitute when PFOA and PFOS were taken out of consumer goods.
This plan marks the first time the agency has proposed regulation over a widespread group of toxic chemicals in water.
The EPA says this new rule could reduce PFAS exposure for nearly 100 million Americans and save thousands of lives by decreasing rates of cancer and birth complications.
The public will have a chance to comment on the EPA's proposed plan, which is expected to be finalized by the end of the year.
To learn more about forever chemicals, see Spotlight on America's reporting here.