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pfas

Young unaccompanied migrants, ages 3-9, watch TV inside a playpen at the Department of Homeland Security holding facility on March 30, 2021 in Donna, Texas. Dario Lopez-Mills - Pool / Getty Images

By Kenny Stancil

In a move that was condemned by environmental justice advocates on Friday, President Joe Biden's administration earlier this week sent 500 unaccompanied asylum-seeking minors to Fort Bliss — a highly contaminated and potentially hazardous military base in El Paso, Texas — and is reportedly considering using additional toxic military sites as detention centers for migrant children in U.S. custody.

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Hudson Mohawk Environmental Action Network / YouTube

By Kenny Stancil

New research conducted by environmental justice scholars at Vermont's Bennington College reveals that between 2016 and 2020, the U.S. military oversaw the "clandestine burning" of more than 20 million pounds of Aqueous Fire Fighting Foam in low-income communities around the country — even though there is no evidence that incineration destroys the toxic "forever chemicals" that make up the foam and are linked to a range of cancers, developmental disorders, immune dysfunction, and infertility.

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waterlust.com / @tulasendlesssummer_sierra .

Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

The bright patterns and recognizable designs of Waterlust's activewear aren't just for show. In fact, they're meant to promote the conversation around sustainability and give back to the ocean science and conservation community.

Each design is paired with a research lab, nonprofit, or education organization that has high intellectual merit and the potential to move the needle in its respective field. For each product sold, Waterlust donates 10% of profits to these conservation partners.

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A sign in a San Francisco Starbucks coffee shop warns customers that coffee and baked goods sold at the shop and elsewhere contain acrylamide, a chemical known to cause cancer and reproductive toxicity. The proposition is a California law passed by voters in 1986. Robert Alexander / Getty Images

By Andrea Germanos

A public health watchdog on Wednesday praised California's proposal to add the so-called "forever chemical" PFOA to the state's list of chemicals known to cause cancer.

PFOA, or perfluorooctanoic acid, was formerly used to make DuPont's Teflon and other products. It's part of a group of chemicals called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Dubbed forever chemicals because they don't break down and can accumulate in the human body, PFAS contamination is widespread. Humans can be exposed through workplace environments, groundwater contamination, or household products.

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More than 200 million Americans may be drinking PFAS-contaminated water, research suggests. vitapix / Getty Images

By Lynne Peeples

Editor's note: This story is part of a nine-month investigation of drinking water contamination across the U.S. The series is supported by funding from the Park Foundation and Water Foundation. Read the launch story, “Thirsting for Solutions," here.

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President-elect Joe Biden has reportedly tapped Michael Regan, secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, to be EPA administrator. N.C. Department of Environmental Quality

By Andrea Germanos

President-elect Joe Biden will nominate Michael Regan, the top environmental official in North Carolina, to head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), according to multiple news reports Thursday.

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A plane sprays pesticide over the Wynwood neighborhood in the hope of controlling and reducing the number of mosquitos, some of which may be capable of spreading the Zika virus on Aug. 6, 2016 in Miami, Florida. Joe Raedle / Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

A national nonprofit revealed Tuesday that testing commissioned by the group as well as separate analysis conducted by Massachusetts officials show samples of an aerially sprayed pesticide used by the commonwealth and at least 25 other states to control mosquito-borne illnesses contain toxic substances that critics call "forever chemicals."

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Thanasis Zovoilis / Stone / Getty Images

By Scott Faber

No candidate for president has ever pledged to make the toxic "forever chemicals" known as PFAS a priority – until now.

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New research finds that dust in buildings with older furniture is more likely to contain a suite of compounds that impact our health. Aleksandr Zubkov / Getty Images

By Hannah Seo

If you've been considering throwing out that old couch, now might be a good time. Dust in buildings with older furniture is more likely to contain a suite of compounds that impact our health, according to new research.

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PFAS are found in clothing, plastic, food packaging, electronics, personal care products, firefighting foams, medical devices and numerous other products. Pxfuel

By Carol Kwiatkowski

Like many inventions, the discovery of Teflon happened by accident. In 1938, chemists from Dupont (now Chemours) were studying refrigerant gases when, much to their surprise, one concoction solidified. Upon investigation, they found it was not only the slipperiest substance they'd ever seen – it was also noncorrosive and extremely stable and had a high melting point.

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PFAS foam in Van Ettan Lake in Oscoda, Michigan near the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base on Sept. 19, 2017. Michigan Department of Environment , Great Lakes, and Energy

By Kathryn Crawford

Nearly a year before the novel coronavirus emerged, Dr. Leonardo Trasande published "Sicker, Fatter, Poorer," a book about connections between environmental pollutants and many of the most common chronic illnesses. The book describes decades of scientific research showing how endocrine-disrupting chemicals, present in our daily lives and now found in nearly all people, interfere with natural hormones in our bodies. The title sums up the consequences: Chemicals in the environment are making people sicker, fatter and poorer.

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Since 2017, car manufacturers in Europe and the U.S. switched to a different coolant for air conditioning called HFO-1234yf, which breaks down into forever chemicals. hiphotos35 / iStock / Getty Images Plus

The Montreal Protocol of 1987 committed nations around the world to stop using the chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) that created a hole in the ozone layer. While it stands as one of the most effective environmental commitments the globe has seen, new research shows the side effects have been costly as chemicals dangerous to human health build up in the environment, as the BBC reported.

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EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler looks on during a news conference at the EPA headquarters in Washington, DC, on Sept. 19, 2019. ALASTAIR PIKE / AFP via Getty Images

When Congress updated the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) in 2016 for the first time in 40 years, public health and environmental advocates hoped it would be a game-changer for protecting Americans from dangerous chemicals, enabling the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to finally ban harmful substances like asbestos.

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