PFAS news roundup

Groups petition the FDA to ban ‘forever chemicals’ in food applications, bill introduced to limit PFAS water discharges, risks of PFAS exposure in children, and more.

On Tuesday, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Chris Pappas (D-N.H.) introduced a bill to limit PFAS discharges in drinking water. The Clean Water Standards for PFAS Act would set deadlines for the Environmental Protection Agency to issue standards that polluters would need to meet before they discharge PFAS waste into surface water or send PFAS wastewater to waste treatment plants.

On Thursday, a number of organizations filed a petition with the Food and Drug Administration to ban the use of all PFAS that persist in the body in food packaging or food contact applications. For the petition, EWG joined Environmental Defense Fund, Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, Center for Environmental Health, Center for Food Safety, Consumer Federation of America, Consumer Reports, Defend Our Health, Green Science Policy Institute, Healthy Babies Bright Futures and League of Conservation Voters.

The health harms of childhood PFAS exposures

A new peer-reviewed study of early-life associations between PFAS substances and serum lipid concentrations found that childhood PFAS exposures are associated with elevated serum lipid concentrations, a potential risk factor for later development of high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease,

New PFAS science

  • PFAS compounds are absorbed by three types of plastic materials commonly used for a wide range of consumer and industrial purposes – polyethylene, polypropylene and polyethylene terephthalate – according to a study about how PFAS behave in a lake environment in the presence of microplastics.
  • The first large-scale, peer-reviewed investigation of PFAS in bottled water detected the compounds in 39 of 101 unique products. The study found that bottled water treated with reverse osmosis contained fewer PFAS chemicals than those that were not filtered.
  • Sea ice formation and melting can increase the levels of PFAS in the water, according to one study.

More PFAS news

  • On Tuesday, the head of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection called for broader monitoring of PFAS waste disposal.
  • Three PFAS compounds were added to the Toxics Release Inventory, a federal database of toxic chemical releases by industry.

David Andrews, Ph.D., an EWG senior scientist, provides details in this video directed and produced by Emily Wathen.

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