EPA Designates Two PFAS Chemicals as Hazardous

Two of the twelve thousand PFAS “forever chemicals”* will now be listed as “hazardous substances” under the U.S. Superfund law per the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The domestic manufacture of the chemicals PFOA and PFOS have largely been phased out by industry, but the EPA’s new classification makes it easier to prioritize cleanup of sites nationwide that have been contaminated by those chemicals. The proposal would require companies to report leaks of two of the most widely used per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and pay for cleanups, and would also provide public funds for cleanups when the culprits cannot be found. Representatives of U.S. chemicals makers, including the America Chemistry Council, have opposed the proposal to designate PFAS chemicals as hazardous, calling it expensive and ineffective in cleaning up contaminated sites.  No other PFAS in the entire class of thousands of chemicals are regulated by the EPA.   source

*For decades, industry has created thousands of different PFAS chemicals, many of which are found in the bodies of virtually every person in America. PFAS can be found in carpeting, food packaging, cookware, clothing, cosmetics, and even firefighting foam. PFAS chemicals do not break down easily, can spread quickly through the environment and are associated with a long list of harmful health effects at exceedingly low levels (for example, at less than one part per trillion in water), including cancer and developmental and reproductive harm. source