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DHS – Drinking Water Study

DHS – Drinking Water Study


A federal agency released recommendations on Wednesday on how to protect the public from a class of chemicals that are linked to a range of illnesses including some cancers, immune system problems, decreased fertility, and thyroid disease.

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry published long-awaited health standards on 14 chemicals in the PFAS family, also known as PFCs or perfluoroalkalyls. For two of the chemicals, the report advocates limits that are much stricter than those recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency, and stronger than levels currently being implemented by New Jersey, a national leader in regulating the chemicals.

ATSDR, a unit of the Department of Health and Human Services, has been under pressure from public health advocates and some lawmakers to release the study following media reports that publication had been blocked by the White House and the EPA because of wide differences between the two sets of recommendations.

For the chemical PFOS, ATSDR is recommending a “minimum risk level” from all sources that is 10 times stricter than the EPA’s health guideline. For PFOA, ATSDR’s recommendation is about one-seventh of what the EPA says is safe for human consumption, the document shows.

In the absence of federal regulation, the new ATSDR standards could be used by state and local authorities to set their own rules, advocates said.


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