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PANEL WILL DISCUSS REGULATORY, SCIENTIFIC MATTERS RELATED TO THESE ‘FOREVER CHEMICALS’
Concern is growing around an emerging environmental pollutant: per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS. Although PFAS were once common chemicals used in products ranging from clothing to cookware, scientific studies have revealed that they are persistent, mobile, and bioaccumulate, and present a risk to human health. These findings have caused select PFAS (e.g., PFOA, PFOS) to be phased out over the past two decades, but because of their frequent use since the 1950s, contaminated sites have been identified across the country, including here in Maine. In 2016, the EPA issued a drinking water Health Advisory for PFOA and PFOS with a recommended exposure limit of 70 parts per trillion. In 2018, EPA announced they would take steps to address PFAS contamination, including determining the need for a drinking water standard (i.e. MCL) for these chemicals. Meanwhile, states are stepping up to create their own drinking water standards. Key questions include:
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