The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Congress Poised to Act to Reduce Major Source of PFAS Chemicals in Drinking Water
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.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Carey Gillam
For the last five years, Chris Stevick has helped his wife Elaine in her battle against a vicious type of cancer that the couple believes was caused by Elaine's repeated use of Monsanto's Roundup herbicide around a California property the couple owned. Now the roles are reversed as Elaine must help Chris face his own cancer.
The last 50 years have been brutal for wildlife. Animals have lost their habitats and seen their numbers plummet. Now a new report from a British conservation group warns that habitat destruction and increased pesticide use has on a trajectory for an "insect apocalypse," which will have dire consequences for humans and all life on Earth, as The Guardian reported.
By Jake Johnson
A Greenpeace report released Tuesday uses a hypothetical "Smart Supermarket" that has done away with environmentally damaging single-use plastics to outline a possible future in which the world's oceans and communities are free of bags, bottles, packaging and other harmful plastic pollutants.
By Irene Banos Ruiz
Pediatricians in New Delhi, India, say children's lungs are no longer pink, but black.
Our warming planet is already impacting the health of the world's children and will shape the future of an entire generation if we fail to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius (35.6°F), the 2019 Lancet Countdown Report on health and climate change shows.