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US House Approves Bipartisan Legislation Regulating PFAS Contaminants in Drinking Water

© REUTERS / JEENAH MOONA man drinks from a water fountain in Washington Square park during a heat wave in New York City, New York, U.S., July 6, 2021.
A man drinks from a water fountain in Washington Square park during a heat wave in New York City, New York, U.S., July 6, 2021.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.07.2021
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Legislation instructing the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set limits on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water sailed through the House of Representatives on a bipartisan 241-183 vote.
“PFAS ‘forever chemicals’ are being found in everything from our drinking water to our household supplies, posing an urgent and growing public health threat. Thankfully, with the passage of the PFAS Action Act today, we are now one step closer to cleaning up contamination and protecting Americans from these toxic chemicals,” US House Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone said on Wednesday following the vote.
The legislation would direct EPA to begin drafting rules limited PFAS in drinking water while also giving the EPA authority to draft regulations for an entire class that includes thousands of PFAS-related chemicals found in a multitude of consumer products ranging from nonstick cookware to waterproof clothing.
“Most people in the US have some level of PFAS - forever chemicals - flowing through their blood. We’ve known this for decades & need to act now to keep PFAS out of our environment & protect public health,” Congresswoman Debbie Dingell said.
Dingell, a Democrat, and Congressman Fred Upton, a Republican, introduced the legislation, a version of which passed the House of Representatives last year but died in the Senate.
Studies have linked PFAS contamination to health problems including high cholesterol, thyroid disease, and testicular and kidney cancer.
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