With much fanfare, the EPA announced the proposed drinking water regulations for two “forever chemicals,” PFOA and PFOS. EPA Administrator Michael Regan said, “Communities across the country have suffered far too long from the ever-present threat of PFAS pollution. That is why President Biden launched a whole-of-government approach to aggressively confront these harmful chemicals, and EPA is leading the way forward.”
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.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is in the process of making a remarkable decision and one that will have repercussions throughout the US. Its proposed safe levels in water for the “forever” chemicals perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) and its sulfonic acid (PFOS) are at extraordinary odds with other national authorities.
A paper in the journal Science describes a new method for breaking down forever chemicals (PFAS), which, as their name implies are not so easy to destroy. Can this method be used to remove traces of these chemicals from our water? Or for anything else?
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is once again warning consumers that their food may be tainted by "forever chemicals." Let's take a look at all the important details the activist group left out.
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.
For regulatory science, from Covid-19 to environmental regulations, today’s mantra is to “follow the science.” If only we had more and better science, they exclaim, we would know the correct answers and better protect public health. But “more” and “better science” often result in the opposite effect – i.e., less protection of public health. By trying to do “perfect science,” we often get in the way of good results in the protection of public health.
Perfluorooctanoate is a simple 8-member carbon molecule that has fluorine, rather than hydrogen, atoms. The result is a chemical that resembles simple forms of fat that occur naturally in our bodies – but does not break down significantly.
The actor, who played the Hulk in The Avengers movie series, spoke on Capitol Hill on an incredibly important public health topic. What expertise does he have in that area? Well, none. But he is a 9/11 truther who rejects the scientific consensus on GMOs while spreading conspiracy theories about the Zika virus.
There is wide divergence on the safety assessment of these chemicals, thus making communication with the public extremely difficult.
Safe or low-risk doses for PFOA, and related chemicals by various governments, are currently widely disparate. Fortunately, recent findings in humans may reduce some of this disparity. Efforts to use this newer information should allow for harmonization -- or at least more consistency -- in government positions.