UPDATE: Detection of toxic PFAS chemicals increases to 2,790 communities

WASHINGTON – The toxic “forever chemicals” known as PFAS have now been detected in nearly 2,800 communities, including 2,411 drinking water systems and 328 military installations, according to an analysis by the Environmental Working Group.

Previously, EWG confirmed the presence of PFAS in 2,377 locations, and the new findings highlight the growing and widespread problem of the toxic substances.

The latest detections are based on new testing completed in Alabama, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, MassachusettsNew Jersey, New York, South Carolina and Vermont.

EWG estimates that more than 200 million Americans are likely drinking PFAS in their tap water. But most drinking water utilities are not required to test for the presence of PFAS or to remove PFAS from the water they serve.

PFAS are a large family of fluorinated chemicals, some of which have been linked to cancerreproductive harm, immune system damage and other serious health problems.

This week, the House of Representatives will take up the bipartisan PFAS Action Act, which, if enacted, would set deadlines for action by the Environmental Protection Agency, including a two-year deadline to develop a national drinking water standard for select PFAS chemicals.

“No one should have to worry about the safety of their water,” said Scott Faber, EWG’s senior vice president for government affairs. “Congress should send a clear signal to the EPA that we should turn off the tap of PFAS pollution and move swiftly to set a national PFAS drinking water standard.”

EWG last week reported that almost 30,000 companies are likely discharging PFAS into the air and water. The PFAS Action Act, introduced by Reps. Debbie Dingell (D) and Fred Upton (R), both from Michigan, would also set deadlines for the EPA to act on limiting these industrial discharges.

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The Environmental Working Group is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that empowers people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. Through research, advocacy and unique education tools, EWG drives consumer choice and civic action.

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