Clean Water Action and our allies have led efforts during this year’s General Assembly session to address toxic per and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) substances by pressing for legislation to study the occurrence of these chemicals in Virginia’s public drinking water, and to address sources of human exposure.
PFAS substances are extremely persistent in the environment and have been associated with a number of health hazards, including endocrine disruption, development and reproductive toxicity, and immunotoxicity. Humans are exposed to PFAS through a wide variety of sources and pathways, and can occur through dietary intake via contaminated food and drinking water. As a result, PFAS chemicals have been detected in 97% of human blood samples.
The Trump administration and Wheeler’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have not been inclined to take aggressive action to protect the environment and people’s health from PFAS. We need to know where these chemicals are made and used and in what products. We also need to identify how they are getting into the environment and to stop that contamination. In the face of limited federal action, states can and should act by increasing drinking water monitoring and using all available to control releases into the environment. That is why we are asking the Virginia General Assembly to support legislation to study the occurrence of PFAS substances in the Commonwealth’s drinking water and develop recommendations for specific maximum contaminant levels.