Earlier this month, the headline “New Study Finds PFAS 'Forever Chemicals' in Drinking Water from 45% of Faucets Across US” led many news reports. That's after 32 individual PFAS were tested and found in both private and public water supplies, presenting potential hazards to our nation’s health. What did the study really say?
EPA and PFAs
On February 11, Health Canada proposed guidelines for PFAS in drinking water that are 50,000 – 300,000 times higher than our EPA’s Health Advisories. This article will look at this and another significant issue, the EPA’s classification of PFAS as hazardous substances.
The height of absurdity may have been reached in a recent article about how the firefighters’ union is warning its members about the health risks from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in their protective gear. “We need to combat what’s killing us,” said the union president.
PFAS, the “forever chemicals,” provides a perfect example of how faulty risk assessment can lead to real-world consequences that destroy people’s lives. This happens when federal agencies do not consider relative risk in their analyses and are blinded to the real-world implications of their actions.
Seemingly everywhere you look there are articles on the dangers of PFAS. Federal and state governments, environmental groups, and the media have declared that dangerous PFAS chemicals are everywhere and present a widespread problem across the U.S. The condemnation and fearmongering are so widespread that you’d be forgiven if you question why we would even bother to write about such a black-and-white subject in the first place. But we must.