The EPA’s plan for handling a ubiquitous family of substances contaminating water supplies is nearing completion and could be out next week, the agency’s acting administrator said Feb. 4.
The Environmental Protection Agency is working on a strategy to address per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, which are widespread and may cause adverse health effects, including developmental effects to fetuses and testicular and kidney cancer. No consensus exists on what amounts of the compounds are safe to consume, but the agency is considering whether to set limits for two of the compounds in drinking water.
“Hopefully, the whole plan will be finished by next week,” acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler told Bloomberg Feb. 4. “That’s our goal.”
The plan had been delayed by the partial government shutdown, which ended Jan. 25.
The contaminants, also known as PFAS, have been used to manufacture nonstick and stain-resistant coatings in clothing, fast-food wrappers, carpets, and other consumer and industrial products.