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EPA Science Advisory Board to review health effects of PFAS

Published: Nov. 17, 2021 at 9:46 PM EST
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WECT) - This week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that its Science Advisory Board will study the health effects of certain PFAS chemicals. The agency says the board will review new documents that study the health impacts of PFOA and PFOS, the legacy compounds replaced by GenX.

The EPA hopes to set new health advisories and eventually establish regulations for both PFOA and PFOS in drinking water and wastewater across the country. The agency says new scientific data shows that negative health effects from these chemicals may actually happen at much lower levels of exposure than previously thought.

Right now, the EPA has a health advisory level of 70 parts per trillion for PFOA and PFOS in drinking water. While it remains to be seen if that number will change and what it could be changed to, Vaughn Hagerty with Cape Fear Public Utility Authority says the levels of these chemicals in the Cape Fear River are already low.

“This is where we have some good news, I think,” said Hagerty. “We have technology already at the Sweeney water treatment plant that already does a pretty decent job of reducing the levels that are there. Like the most recent tests that we saw for PFOS was two parts per trillion and PFOA was three parts per trillion.”

The EPA says it will move as quickly as it can to issue updated health advisories. The new infrastructure law signed by President Biden includes $10 billion to help communities clean up PFAS and other contaminants in the water.

You can read the EPA’s full release here.

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