MJ Eckhouse, January 10, 2020
Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed House Bill 535, the PFAS Action Act. It includes important steps toward protecting our waters from the national PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) crisis.
PFAS are a class of synthetic chemicals commonly used in a variety of everyday household goods, including non-stick pans, cleaning products, and food packaging. Due to the chemicals’ durability, PFAS break down extremely slowly. Communities continue to find PFAS contamination in their soil, food, and drinking water. To date, PFAS have been detected in the water of more than 1,400 communities, including near 300 military installations, and have been linked to serious health problems, including cancer.
By setting a federal standard for drinking water, the PFAS Action Act would help reduce PFAS use, clean up contaminated areas, and ensure accountability to prevent further pollution. Additionally, the bill would educate consumers about PFAS and prioritize the most at-risk communities.
“The PFAS Action Act offers meaningful steps toward addressing the growing crisis of PFAS contamination in our drinking water,” said Chris Tavenor, Staff Attorney for the Ohio Environmental Council. “The science is certain; PFAS pose a danger to our families and communities; their uses must be fully regulated. We commend our Congressional representatives for supporting this effort. Likewise, we encourage their Senate counterparts to pass and send the bill to the White House.”