EPA to limit toxic ‘forever chemicals’ in drinking water

FILE – Michael Regan, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, announces the Biden administration is launching a broad strategy to regulate toxic industrial compounds associated with serious health conditions that are used in products ranging from cookware to carpets and firefighting foams during an event at N.C. State University, Oct. 18, 2021, in Raleigh, N.C. The EPA on Tuesday, March 14, 2023, proposed limiting the amount of harmful “forever chemicals” in drinking water to the lowest level that tests can detect. (Travis Long/The News & Observer via AP, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency’s administrator says a proposal for the first federal limits on harmful “forever chemicals” in drinking water could prevent thousands of illnesses. Per- and polyfluorinated substances are a toxic group of compounds knowns as PFAS that are linked to health issues including low birthweight and cancer. The EPA proposes limiting two common types of the compounds to 4 parts per trillion, the lowest level that tests can detect. EPA Administrator Michael Regan says communities “have suffered far too long” from PFAS pollution. Environmentalists praise Tuesday’s proposal as a long-awaited public health protection. If finalized, the proposal would also regulate the combined amount of four other types of PFAS.

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