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PFAS Aimed in legislation enacted by the US House of Representatives

The US House of Representatives adopted sweeping measures to combat pollution by and against polyfluoroalkyls substances (PFAS) in soil, water and air on 21 July.

The proposal may cost the fluorochemical industry millions of people to remove polluted sites and to limit PFAS emissions from fabrics when passed by Senate and signed by president. To maintain their PFAS on the U.S. market, chemical firms would also have to finance toxicity research. Furthermore, for 5 years the measure would prohibit the introduction of new PFAS into US trade.

PFAS, a group of over 9,000 synthetic compounds, are robust molecules withstanding severe circumstances and resistant to breakdown in the environment. Only a tiny number of those chemicals are hazardous to human health issues, including birth abnormalities and endocrine disorders, have been investigated. Congressional legislators are growing worried about chemicals as researchers uncover more locations contaminated by PFAS, in particular in the supply of potable water.

“This is a nonpartisan and community-wide issue,” said Rep. Chris Pappas (D-NH), a proponent of the measure, in a statement. “Too many Americans drink polluted water.”The law, H.R. 2467, would speed up the procedures for regulating pollution or forcing chemical producers to test their goods.The project mainly targets the two common contaminants, (Perfluorooctane Sulfonic Acid (PFOS), and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA), that are no longer produced or sold in the United States. The EPO should also decide if comparable limits should be imposed on additional PFAS in five years’ time.

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