EPA’s new rules on forever chemicals don’t go far enough, study suggests

Sunday, May 21, 2023 - 14:32 in Health & Medicine

CAPE COD, Massachusetts — Earlier this year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed maximum allowable levels in drinking water for six PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) — so-called forever chemicals. But the draft standards do not account for half of the PFAS at contaminated sites across the country. The findings are from a team led by the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and are published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. PFAS are present in fire-retardant foams, among other products, and have been building up in the environment since they were invented by Dupont in the 1930s and manufactured widely by 3M beginning in the 1950s. Exposures to some PFAS are linked to a range of health risks including cancer, immune suppression, diabetes, and low infant birth weight. PFAS compounds come in two forms: a precursor form and a terminal form. Most of the monitored PFAS compounds are terminal...

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