“Forever Toxic Chemicals” In Our Water: Ways to take Action
Tue Aug 24 2021 07:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
Our water is sacred, it sustains us and all living organisms in our planet, we could not be without water. Yet our water that is needed for our livelihood, physical health and mental wellbeing continues to be under threat.
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS, are a family of over 5,000 human-made chemicals used in items from toys and personal care products to firefighting foam and food packaging. PFAS are indestructible and are often referred to as “forever chemicals” because of the difficulty to break them down.
Check out our PFAS Response Toolkit - This includes background information, summary of the Clean Water Standards for PFAS Act of 2021, and ways to take action. Consulte nuestro kit de herramientas de respuesta de PFAS, que incluye información de antecedentes, resumen de las normas de agua limpia para la Ley Clean Water Standards for PFAS Act of 2021 y formas de tomar medidas. PFAS Response Toolkit (Español y English)
All of this can be overwhelming if you’re just learning about this issue. What are some things you can do to keep you and your families safe?
Eliminate PFAS from your life where you can- here are some examples:
Move to using stainless steel cookware
If you can avoid it, don’t have your receipts printed -often times, they use PFAS in the paper
Avoid food packaging when you can. Paper/paperboard food packaging that may contain PFAS includes fast-food wrappers, microwave popcorn bags and take-out paperboard containers.
It’s time to put the responsibility back onto industry and require them:
To stop non-essential uses of PFAS in products
Pretreat their PFAS waste before discharging it into our surface water
Stop disposing and destroying PFAS without properly validated scientific methods
We can also ask our members of Congress to support legislation that is supporting these efforts:
The Clean Water Standards for PFAS Act of 2021 will support the public water system’s capacity to implement technology based effluent limits- ensuring water remains affordable and safe to drink for everyone.
This bill will strengthen the Clean Water Act’s pretreatment program which will have a significant impact on reducing PFAS into wastewater streams by targeting upstream industries that indirectly discharge to public water systems.
These industries include organic chemicals, plastics, and synthetic fibers, textile mills, metal finishing, leather tanning and finishing, plastics molding, and forming and much more.
Currently Congress is negotiating the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill which will:
Allocate about $10 billion towards clean up of PFAS
Including money allocated to help small and disadvantaged communities address PFAS in drinking water
Helping utilities remove PFAS from drinking water supplies or to connect well owners to local water systems,
help wastewater utilities address PFAS in wastewater discharges.
This is a good start to addressing the needed cleanup of PFAS contamination, but we must ensure that we are regulating these toxic chemicals, at the source. We need every member of Congress to support the Clean Water Standards for PFAS Act of 2021 and work to tackle America’s PFAS drinking water crisis. To build an equitable clean water future, we must protect the health of all residents by strengthening the Clean Water Act and removing these toxic chemicals from our water.