Environment & Energy Report

EPA Faces Public Pressure to Gauge Toxicity of Fluorochemicals (Corrected)

March 14, 2018, 10:47 PMUpdated: March 19, 2018, 2:27 PM

Trying to determine the extent of harm that some fluorinated chemicals pose is a tricky goal the EPA set for itself as communities grow increasingly alarmed about possible risks.

Several thousand chemical compounds that are classified as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have been widely used for fighting fires and in everyday products like anti-grease cookware and fire-resistant mattresses, but are not used as much anymore.

Two of these chemicals—perfluoroocataonic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS)—have been detected in drinking water and ground water above the Environmental Protection Agency’s unenforceable safety guideline of 70 parts per trillion.


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