EPA announces PFAS Effort

EPA announces PFAS Effort

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced an effort to address per and polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS). PFAS, which includes PFOA, PFOS and GenX, are a diverse group of man-made chemicals that persist in the environment and resist degradation. These chemicals have been used throughout a variety of industries and are present throughout the world. 

According to the EPA, it will:

  • Identify a set of near-term actions that EPA will take to help support local communities.
  • Enhance coordination with states, tribes and federal partners to provide communities with critical information and tools to address PFAS.
  • Increase ongoing research efforts to identify new methods for measuring PFAS and filling data gaps.
  • Expand proactive communications efforts with states, tribes, partners and the American public about PFAS and their health effects.

EPA has already established non-regulatory drinking water health advisories for PFOA and PFOS. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl compounds (PFASs) are a class of man-made chemicals not found naturally in the environment. Here are the commonly used names for PFASs and subgroups:

  • Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs)
  • Perfluorinated chemicals
  • Perfluorochemicals
  • Perfluoroalkyls
  • Perfluorinated alkyl acids
  • Long-chain perfluorinated chemicals (LCPFCs)
  • Polyfluorinated chemicals
  • Polyfluorinated compounds

PFOA and PFOS are no longer manufactured in the United States, however, they are still used in manufacturing in other countries and continue to be imported into the United States. Some manufacturing industries still using PFOA and PFOS include carpets, leather and apparel, textiles, paper and packaging, coatings, and rubber and plastics.