Will Congress finally address toxic 'forever chemicals?'

June 30, 2020

Read the full article by Arlene Blum (The Hill)

"The haunting folk song refrain, “When will we ever learn?” could apply well to the reckless manufacture of a class of harmful chemicals called perfluoroalky and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS). These chemicals are useful in firefighting foam, water- and stain-proof textiles and many industrial applications. However, they are also known as “forever chemicals” because they never break down in the environment. 

The PFAS that have been well studied are found to contribute to cancer and a host of other health problems. A current worry is that PFAS can suppress the immune system, which may decrease our ability to fight the coronavirus — and PFAS are in all of us.

Brilliant detective work by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and New Jersey scientists recently uncovered a frightening case of PFAS pollution in the northeastern United States. Soil radiating out from a Solvay chemical plant in New Jersey is contaminated with PFAS. The chemicals also travel hundreds of miles on air currents and into neighboring states."