EPA working to keep forever chemicals out of drinking water

This month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the first-ever national drinking water standard to protect communities from exposure to per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), commonly called “forever chemicals.” Because drinking water can be a significant source of PFAS exposure, the EPA issued this rule after reviewing extensive research and science on how PFAS affects public health, while engaging with state regulators and the water sector to ensure effective implementation. Funding has been made available to help the water sector test and treat public drinking water for PFAS contamination.

Many PFAS are chemicals that help make everyday products waterproof, non-stick, stainproof and more. They take an incredibly long time to deteriorate, and so these harmful chemicals can be found in our water, air and land. By reducing exposure to PFAS, this final rule will prevent tens of thousands of serious illnesses, including certain cancers, liver and heart impacts in adults, and immune and developmental impacts to infants and children.