"A loophole in the federal government’s procedures for reviewing new chemicals has allowed at least 600 so-called forever chemicals into American markets despite evidence they pose serious health risks, according to a petition filed Thursday.
A coalition of environmental and community health advocates petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency saying it gives certain new chemicals a pass from more rigorous review if they’re not expected to be used in high volumes. This has allowed hundreds of variations of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to slip through, posing a cumulative health risk.
PFAS are found in things such as nonstick coatings, carpets and firefighting foams – and can cause cancer, immune system damage, cardiovascular diseases and developmental diseases.
In June, the EPA issued a warning saying that even water with scarce amounts of PFAS can pose risks to human health. The agency issued its first order under its national PFAS testing strategy aimed at bolstering available data on the prevalence of the chemicals. In August, the EPA said it will propose designating two of the chemicals as hazardous substances under the nation’s Superfund law – hoping to spark cleanup of countless sites and industrial sites."