U.S. water likely contains more "forever chemicals" than its tests show: The Guardian

(Xinhua) 11:17, July 09, 2022

LONDON, July 9 (Xinhua) -- The water testing method used by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is so limited in scope that it is probably missing significant levels of "forever chemicals," The Guardian has reported.

The "forever chemicals," or PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), are widely used and long-lasting chemicals which don't fully break down, accumulating in the environment, humans and animals. Some are toxic and have been linked to cancer, birth defects, kidney disease and other serious health issues, showed a Guardian analysis of water samples from around the United States.

The analysis checked water samples from PFAS hot spots around the United States with two types of tests: an EPA-developed method that detects 30 types of the approximately 9,000 PFAS compounds, and another that checks for a marker of all PFAS.

The Guardian found that seven of the nine samples collected showed higher levels of PFAS in water using the latter test that identifies markers for PFAS, and at concentrations as much as 24 times greater.

"The EPA is doing the bare minimum it can and that's putting people's health at risk," the report said, citing Kyla Bennett, policy director at the advocacy group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.

Many low-income people, who cannot afford a water filtration system, can be at more risk of PFAS exposure than people with higher incomes, said the report. 

(Web editor: Wu Chaolan, Bianji)


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