Toxic chemicals known as PFAS have been in the news a lot lately due to their harmful health impacts and widespread contamination of drinking water sources across the country. PFAS can now be found in everyday products like waterproof jackets and nonstick pans. They’ve also been detected in the drinking water supplies of major cities like New York, Washington, D.C., and Chicago.
Though regulators have been aware of the PFAS crisis for some time, the federal EPA’s plan to address PFAS contamination falls far short of what is needed to protect communities.
“This is an action plan with no action,” said Suzanne Novak, an Earthjustice attorney who is working to address PFAS contamination. “It is a long list of initiating steps that EPA should have been doing for the past few years, but no concrete actions.”
Here’s a breakdown of what PFAS are, why they’re harmful, and what we can do to protect ourselves from them. (Download PDF fact sheet on PFAS.)
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