Quantcast

Congress Poised to Act to Reduce Major Source of PFAS Chemicals in Drinking Water

Health + Wellness
Sonsam / iStock / Getty Images Plus

House and Senate leaders included a provision in legislation to fund the Federal Aviation Administration and strengthen disaster programs that will give commercial airports the option to switch to firefighting foams that do not include the highly toxic fluorinated chemicals known as PFAS.


Under current law, airports are required to use firefighting foams that contain these chemicals, which have been linked to cancer, kidney disease and other health issues.

Firefighting foams made with PFAS chemicals are a significant and widespread source of drinking water contamination.

In March, Washington became the first state to ban the use of PFAS chemicals in firefighting foams. Congress could vote later this week on the bill that includes the option for airports to switch to PFAS-free foam.

The bipartisan group of lawmakers from both chambers who lead negotiations of the final package were House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.); Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.); House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.); and Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Ranking Member Bill Nelson (D-Fla.).

"EWG appreciates the bipartisan group of leaders who came together to tackle this serious and growing threat to the nation's drinking water," said EWG Legislative Attorney Melanie Benesh. "On behalf of communities grappling with PFAS-contaminated tap water, EWG applauds their leadership on this important issue. Safeguarding the public from the dangers posed by toxic chemicals in our tap water should be a top priority for all our elected leaders."

EWG's ongoing research on the growing crisis estimates roughly 110 million Americans could have PFAS-contaminated drinking water.

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Climate change activists gather in front of the stage at the Extinction Rebellion group's environmental protest camp at Marble Arch in London on April 22, on the eighth day of the group's protest calling for political change to combat climate change. TOLGA AKMEN / AFP / Getty Images

Extinction Rebellion, the climate protest that has blocked major London thoroughfares since Monday April 15, was cleared from three key areas over Easter weekend, The Guardian reported.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Alina Petre, MS, RD (CA)

Veganism refers to a way of living that attempts to minimize animal exploitation and cruelty. For this reason, vegans aim to exclude all foods containing meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy and honey from their diet (1).

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
American farmers use chlorpyrifos, a pesticide tied to brain and nervous system issues, on crops such as apples, broccoli, corn and strawberries. Stephanie Chapman / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

By Jessica Corbett

In a ruling welcomed by public health advocates, a federal court on Friday ordered the Trump administration to stop stalling a potential ban on a pesticide linked to brain damage in children, giving regulators until mid-July to make a final decision.

Read More Show Less
fstop123 / iStock / Getty Images Plus

At EcoWatch, our team knows that changing personal habits and taking actions that contribute to a better planet is an ongoing journey. Earth Day, happening on April 22, is a great reminder for all of us to learn more about the environmental costs of our behaviors like food waste or fast fashion.

To offer readers some inspiration this Earth Day, our team rounded up their top picks for films to watch. So, sit back and take in one of these documentary films this Earth Day. Maybe it will spark a small change you can make in your own life.

Read More Show Less
NASA

By Shuchi Talati

Solar geoengineering describes a set of approaches that would reflect sunlight to cool the planet. The most prevalent of these approaches entails mimicking volcanic eruptions by releasing aerosols (tiny particles) into the upper atmosphere to reduce global temperatures — a method that comes with immense uncertainty and risk. We don't yet know how it will affect regional weather patterns, and in turn its geopolitical consequences. One way we can attempt to understand potential outcomes is through models.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Maria Gunnoe Flight, courtesy of southwings.org

By Julia Conley

Green groups on Saturday celebrated the latest federal ruling aimed at preventing President Donald Trump from rolling back environmental regulations that were put in place by his predecessor.

Read More Show Less
NASA scientists flew over the Kuskokwim river in southwest Alaska in 2017 to investigate how water levels in the Arctic landscape change as permafrost thaws. Peter Griffith, NASA

By Tim Radford

Scientists have identified yet another hazard linked to the thawing permafrost: laughing gas. A series of flights over the North Slope of Alaska has detected unexpected levels of emissions of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide from the rapidly warming soils.

Read More Show Less
Youtube screenshot

A woman has been caught on camera dumping a bag of puppies near a dumpster in Coachella, California, CNN reported Sunday.

Read More Show Less