This week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took unprecedented action to advise health authorities that there is no safe level of PFAS or PFOS in drinking water. Reversing its 2016 determination that set the health risk threshold at 70 parts per trillion, EPA alerted the public that even tiny amounts of these chemicals used in millions of consumer products including food packaging, cosmetics, nonstick cookware, and stain-resistant fabrics can cause cancer, infertility, and cardiovascular risks. Called “forever chemicals” because they are indestructible and do not degrade over any amount of time, PFAS and PFOS also stunt fetal development. EPA took a powerful step for the public health.
People are exposed to PFAS by consuming contaminated water and food, breathing in dust with PFAS, and touching consumer products that contain PFAS. PFAS and PFOS often originates in consumer products. EPA is doing its part, now CPSC must do our part to determine if we can regulate any hazards at the source.