The Environmental Protection Agency is set to release binding rules regarding the permissible levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water. PFAS is a group of chemicals comprising thousands of substances.
The Associated Press reports that the regulations, which may be unveiled as soon as today, could potentially result in a cost of almost $40 billion for communities across the nation to comply with.
PFAS, present in various products such as food packaging and firefighting foam, is nicknamed “forever chemicals” because they persist in the environment and accumulate in our bodies. PFAS have been associated with cancer, damage to the reproductive and immune systems, and other illnesses.
Over the past few years, PFAS have been found in various locations, including cows, farms, breast milk, and schools. The Environmental Working Group states that there are almost 3,000 identified contaminated sites across all 50 states and two territories, with the actual number likely to be much greater.
According to the Associated Press, water suppliers are bracing themselves for stringent testing and regulations that will reveal the presence of PFOA and PFOS in communities that may not have been aware of the chemicals in their water. This will lead to an expensive problem for affected communities to address.
According to an estimate by engineering consultant Black & Veatch for the American Water Works Association, communities across the country may have to spend approximately $38 billion to comply with a stringent EPA regulation that would require the removal of enough PFAS to bring them below detectable levels. In addition to this, there will be ongoing expenses for filter material and testing.
The engineering consultant’s estimate for the American Water Works Association, an industry group, based on federal and state test results, approximately 4% to 12% of water providers across the country will need to undergo PFAS treatment in response to the new EPA rule.
What are “Forever Chemicals?”
“Forever Chemicals” is a term used to describe per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a class of thousands of chemicals used in various products, from food packaging to firefighting foam. They are called “forever chemicals” because they do not break down in the environment and accumulate in our bodies over time. PFAS have been linked to various health issues, including cancer, reproductive and immune system harm, and other diseases. They have been detected in numerous places, including soil, water, and even breast milk. The Environmental Protection Agency will likely announce enforceable regulations on the amount of PFAS permitted in drinking water, which could end up costing communities billions of dollars to implement.
Exposure to PFAS has been linked to a range of illnesses and diseases, including but not limited to:
- Cancer (such as kidney and testicular cancer)
- Reproductive and developmental harm (including low birth weight, decreased fertility, and developmental delays)
- Immune system harm (such as decreased response to vaccines and increased risk of infectious diseases)
- Thyroid hormone disruption
- Liver damage
- High cholesterol
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Parkinson’s disease
It’s important to note that the full extent of health effects from exposure to PFAS is still being studied and understood by researchers.
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If you or a loved one have been exposed to Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances and have suffered adverse health effects, it’s important to seek legal assistance to protect your rights and explore your options for compensation. At Parker Waichman LLP, we have a team of experienced attorneys who can help you navigate the legal process and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Don’t wait to receive justice – contact us today at 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529) to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation and learn more about your legal options. Our team is dedicated to helping victims of PFAS exposure, and we’re here to help you get the justice and compensation you deserve.
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