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Confidential Business Data Compounds Some Chemical Cleanups

June 30, 2017, 2:15 PM

Federal agencies are working to help state health and environmental regulators better understand which of a particular class of chemicals are contaminating groundwater supplies and other natural resources.

They want to figure out how to prevent future contamination from what are known as poly- and perfluorinated chemicals. These refer to compounds that make other chemicals—or the materials they coat—heat, stick and stain resistant.

One challenge: the precise chemistry of some of these substances is considered confidential business information, making it difficult to come up with a mitigation strategy, Linda Birnbaum, director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and ...