EPA proposal could put PFAS on contaminant list, UW experts support decision

October 12, 2021

Read the full article by Sam Watson (The Badger Herald)

"Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul supported the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to include per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in the Contaminant Candidate List 5.

These man-made substances are known as “forever chemicals” because they remain in the human body and do not naturally degrade in the environment, allowing them to accumulate over time, according to the Department of Justice.

PFAS can be found in food, plastics, paper, rubber and even household cleaning products. They can also leak into sources of drinking water, according to the EPA.

Studies on animals suggest exposure to PFAS can cause adverse health outcomes, from reproductive issues to increased cholesterol levels to cancer, according to the EPA website. PFAS may cause similar problems for humans.

The CCL5, cites known or suspected drinking water contaminants currently unregulated by the EPA. Adding PFAS to CCL5 will kickstart an investigation into their effects on human health, University of Wisconsin environmental policy expert Morgan Robertson said in a statement.

If the EPA determines that the current levels of PFAS make drinking water unsafe for human consumption, Robertson said the agency could require regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act."