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Washington DC – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today finalized drinking water limits for six of the notorious PFAS chemicals, which are used in a wide variety of products and have been found in drinking water sources nationwide. EPA has followed up on Biden Administration commitments to address PFAS chemicals in light of growing evidence of their link to adverse human health effects and their widespread occurrence in water.  

PFAS (per-and poly-flouroalkyl substances) are a class of human-made chemicals that are toxic even in very low concentrations. Because they are stain and oil resistant and repel water, PFAS have been widely used since the 1950s in many common consumer products, including carpets, clothing, cookware, cosmetics, and food packaging. These “forever chemicals” are highly persistent and mobile in the environment, which means they bioaccumulate and travel unchanged through streams, rivers, and other water bodies, including drinking water sources. PFAS are linked to serious health problems including damage to liver, thyroid, and pancreatic function, immune system harm, hormone disruption, high cholesterol, and cancer.

“The first-ever Safe Drinking Water Act standards for some PFAS chemicals are a win for impacted communities, a welcome promise kept, and a wake-up call,” said Clean Water Action President Jeff Carter. “Clean Water Action is making sure policymakers hear that wake-up call and start acting on PFAS pollution where it starts. If we keep manufacturing and using PFAS chemicals, they will lead to the need for more drinking water treatment and thus higher costs for communities and our water bills.”

Clean Water Action’s state offices are leading creative policy campaigns to reduce PFAS use in California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Clean Water Action in Minnesota helped deliver a win in May 2023, when Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed the strongest PFAS reduction provisions in the country. Amara’s Law bans some products containing PFAS in 2025 and all non-essential uses of PFAS chemicals by 2032. It also  requires manufacturers selling products in Minnesota to disclose if PFAS chemicals are present. At the federal level, the organization will continue to push for aggressive federal action to keep PFAS chemicals out of the environment and curb their use.  

Background on today’s EPA announcement: 

EPA has finalized enforceable Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) limits (known as Maximum Contaminant Limits or MCLs) for two of the oldest PFAS chemicals - PFOA and PFOS - at 4 parts per trillion (ppt), the lowest level that can be reliably measured in drinking water. EPA has also responded to the call from impacted communities and advocates to address the many other PFAS chemicals being found in water around the country by finalizing enforceable limits for three other PFAS chemicals - PFHxS, HFPO-DA (GenX chemicals), and PFNA. Because research indicates that PFAS chemicals can cause health risks at lower levels and in mixtures, EPA has also finalized a hazard index approach to regulating four chemicals - PFHxS, HFPO-DA (GenX chemicals), PFNA, and PFBS - when they occur in mixtures.  


Clean Water Action is a national 501(c)(4) environmental organization with nearly one million members nationwide. Since our founding during the campaign to pass the landmark Clean Water Act in 1972, Clean Water Action has worked to win strong health and environmental protections by bringing issue expertise, solution-oriented thinking and people power to the table. Learn more at