Breaking Down New Rules About ‘Forever Chemicals’

By Josh Ocampo | The New York Times | April 24, 2024

Read the full article by Josh Ocampo (The New York Times)

"Cookware. Dental floss. Shampoo.

Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS, can be found in those items and hundreds of other household products. Nicknamed “forever chemicals” because they do not fully degrade, PFAS are resistant to heat, oil, grease and water. (One of the first uses of PFAS chemicals was as a nonstick agent in Teflon cookware in the 1940s.) But exposure to PFAS has been linked to cancer, liver damage and birth defects, among other health issues.

Worse, the chemicals have made their way into our showers, sinks and drinking glasses — a 2023 study detected PFAS in nearly half of the nation’s tap water. But there’s some good news: For the first time, the Environmental Protection Agency is regulating PFAS. This month, the E.P.A. announced that it would require municipal water systems to remove six forever chemicals from tap water."