EPA Advances Science to Protect Public from PFOA and PFOS in Drinking Water

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is asking the agency’s Science Advisory Board to review draft scientific documents regarding the health effects of certain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). 

The EPA says it's committed to science-based approaches to protect public health from exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), including by quickly updating drinking water health advisories with new peer-reviewed approaches and expeditiously developing National Primary Drinking Water Regulations for these contaminants.

“Under our new PFAS Strategic Roadmap, EPA is moving aggressively on clear, robust and science-based actions to protect communities suffering from legacy PFOA and PFOS contamination,” says EPA Administrator Michael Regan. “This action will ensure a rigorous review from experienced scientists to strengthen our understanding of this preliminary information as the agency works toward developing revised health advisories for PFOA and PFOS, and soon establishing regulations that protect communities from these contaminants.”

The EPA has transmitted to the Science Advisory Board four draft documents with recent scientific data and new analyses that indicate that negative health effects may occur at much lower levels of exposure to PFOA and PFOS than previously understood and that PFOA is a likely carcinogen. The draft documents present EPA’s initial analysis and findings with respect to this new information.

Following peer review, this information will be used to inform health advisories and the development of Maximum Contaminant Level Goals and a National Primary Drinking Water Regulation for PFOA and PFOS. EPA is now seeking independent scientific review of these documents. The EPA is making these draft documents available to the public to ensure a transparent and robust evaluation of the available information.

The EPA will not wait to take action to protect the public from PFAS exposure. The agency will be actively engaging with its partners regarding PFOA and PFOS in drinking water, including supporting their monitoring and remediation efforts. Importantly, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, signed by President Joe Biden on Nov. 15, invests $10 billion to help communities test for and clean up PFAS and other emerging contaminants in drinking water and wastewater, and can be used to support projects in disadvantaged communities.

The EPA reports that it will move as quickly as possible to issue updated health advisories for PFOA and PFOS that reflect this new science and input from the SAB. Concurrently, EPA will continue to develop a proposed PFAS National Primary Drinking Water Regulation for publication in fall 2022.

For more information, visit www.epa.gov/pfas.



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