Today’s Solutions: December 01, 2023

Back in 2016, the Obama administration enacted an unenforceable recommendation that limited the amount of polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), otherwise known as “forever chemicals” for their inability to degrade in nature, to 70 parts per trillion or less in any given product. Unfortunately, these forever chemicals are found in a multitude of everyday products, such as cosmetics, dental floss, cookware, and cleaning supplies, and have been connected to many human diseases such as thyroid conditions and even cancer.

Five years later, the current administration has finally announced that they will put Obama’s recommendation into action. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Michael Regan told The Washington Post that the Biden administration’s three-year strategy “really lays out a series of concrete and ambitious actions to protect people.”

The plan towards regulating the forever chemicals focuses on three approaches: “increase investments in research, leverage authorities to take action now to restrict PFAS chemicals from being released into the environment, and accelerate the cleanup of PFAS contamination,” the EPA declared.

To achieve this, the administration plans to set enforceable drinking water limits under the Safe Drinking Water Act, designate PFAS as a hazardous substance under CERCLA (which means holding manufacturers financially liable for incinerating the chemical or releasing it into waterways), set timelines for establishing effluent guideline limitations under the Clean Water Act, review rules and guidance under the Toxic Substances Control Act, and expand monitoring, data collection, and research of the forever chemicals.

“Communities contaminated by these toxic forever chemicals have waited decades for action,” said Ken Cook, President of the Environmental Working Group. “So it’s good news that Administrator Regan will fulfill President Biden’s pledge to take quick action to reduce PFOA and PFOS in tap water, to restrict industrial releases of PFAS into the air and water, and to designate PFOA and PFOS as hazardous substances to hold polluters accountable.”

He adds that it’s been over two decades since we first realized that these toxic chemicals were present in our blood and increasing our chances of cancer and other health issues. “It’s time for action, not more plans, and that’s what this Administrator will deliver,” he declared in a press statement.

Other states such as New Jersey, Maine, Vermont, Michigan, and New York have already begun to regulate the use of these chemicals, and the EU has banned the use of many of these forever chemicals completely.

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

Breaking the ice: Swedish city combats winter loneliness with “say hell...

In the frozen embrace of Luleå, where daylight dwindles to mere hours, plunging into icy seawater becomes a ritual. For Katariina Yliperttula, a dip ...

Read More

Construction project completes the world’s first 3D printed two-story home

Considered one of the largest sources of environmental pollution in the world, it’s no secret that the construction industry is in need of a ...

Read More

The Rockefeller Christmas Tree gets a charitable new life after the holidays

We once shared how a tiny owl was rescued from the branches of the Rockefeller Christmas Tree. Now we have more good news as ...

Read More

Biden administration launches to help us deal with extreme heat

It’s no secret that this summer season has been a scorcher, what with the increasing heatwaves in the US and raging wildfires across Europe. ...

Read More