EPA labels two forever chemicals commonly found in cookware, carpets, furniture, cosmetics and firefighting foams as “hazardous substances”
By Laura Harris // Apr 23, 2024

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has added two new "forever chemicals" commonly used in making cookware, carpets, furniture and firefighting foams to its danger list.

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), which are part of a larger cluster of forever chemicals known as per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), have been voluntarily phased out by U.S. manufacturers in the past but remain in the environment due to their non-degradable nature. These chemicals, which build up in the human body for long periods, may lead to cancer, liver and heart damage and developmental problems in infants and children. (Related: Study: Toxic FOREVER CHEMICALS are found in many cosmetics.)

Moreover, an EPA assessment in 2022 concluded that PFOA and PFOS pose even greater health risks than previously understood and even at low levels.

"For decades, the American people have been exposed to the family of incredibly toxic 'forever chemicals' known as PFAS with no protection from their government. Those chemicals now contaminate virtually all Americans from birth. That's because, for generations, PFAS chemicals slid off of every federal environmental law like a fried egg off a Teflon pan," said Ken Cook, president and co-founder of the Environmental Working Group (EWG).

As a response, the EPA labeled PFOA and PFOS as "hazardous substances" under the Superfund Act, a mandate that requires industries to pay for clean-up efforts for toxins that end up in the water supply during production. But the law does not entail a ban on the chemicals. Instead, it mandates that any releases of PFOA and PFOS into soil or water exceeding specific thresholds must be reported to federal, state or tribal authorities. Subsequently, the EPA may require cleanups to safeguard public health and recover costs, which could amount to tens of millions of dollars.

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In cases where no responsible party can be identified, the Superfund Act provides the EPA with the necessary funding and authority to address contaminated sites.

"Designating these chemicals under our Superfund authority will allow EPA to address more contaminated sites, take earlier action and expedite cleanups – all while ensuring polluters pay for the costs to clean up pollution threatening the health of communities," said EPA Administrator Michael Regan.

Inclusion of PFOA and PFOS in the list of "hazardous substances" gains mixed reactions

The American Chemistry Council (ACC), representing the chemical industry, strongly opposed the law and labeled it "severely flawed." The ACC believes these measures will hinder broader remediation efforts to address PFAS contamination. The ACC stated that the law is an "expensive, ineffective and unworkable means to achieve remediation for these chemicals." The group contends that the law "is fraught with unintended consequences and will likely result in extensive, unnecessary delays for cleanups."

However, supporters of the law debunked the claims of the ACC.

"For decades, the chemical industry has polluted our communities with these 'forever chemicals. We need our state and national leaders to use every tool in the box to protect our families from exposure to PFAS. That means phasing out their use, stopping their discharge and holding the chemical industry accountable for the harms they have caused to our health and environment," said Emily Scarr, the director of the U.S. PIRG Education Fund's Stop Toxic PFAS campaign.

Lisa Frank, the executive director of the Environment America Research and Policy Center's Washington office, echoed a similar statement.

"This announcement is a critical step toward getting PFAS out of our waterways and making polluters pay," said Frank. "Now, we need to turn off the tap on toxic PFAS everywhere."

Visit Pollution.news for more articles about PFAS in tap water and other consumer products.

Watch the video below to learn more about 3M's $10 million fine to settle a lawsuit over water contamination due to PFAS.

This video is from the channel The Talking Hedge on Brighteon.com.

More related stories:

TOP 7 toxins and forever chemicals that NEVER STOP harming the human body.

Research reveals forever chemicals may interfere with bone growth in children and adults.

Biden admin approves more stringent rules covering "forever chemicals" in drinking water.

Children's bones failing to develop, adult bones deteriorating due to "forever chemicals."

Forever chemicals pose greater cancer risk to women than men, study finds.

Sources include:




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