PFAS contamination may be larger than previously understood after the recent discovery
Posted January 15, 2021 at 4:13pm
President-elect Joe Biden has pledged to address so-called forever chemicals that have been found in Americans’ drinking water and linked to many adverse health effects.
But the scope of the contamination may be larger than previously understood given the EPA finding this week that such compounds have been leaching from storage containers into at least one pesticide used to control disease-spreading mosquitoes.
The manufacturer of the pesticide has voluntarily halted shipments of product in such containers, but it’s unclear how many other companies are using similar ones.
“It’s still not known how broadly these are used elsewhere,” said David Andrews, senior scientist at the Environmental Working Group, an anti-pollution advocacy organization. “This does seem to be a significant concern and may point to yet another reason why these compounds are found in nearly everyone’s blood in the United States.”
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals, or PFAS, are used in the manufacturing of many common household products and have been linked to serious health problems including cancer. They are prized by manufacturers because they take so long to break down — hence the term “forever chemicals.”