Saturday, October 23, 2021

Play

Some states entice people back to the workplace by increasing safety standards and higher minimum wage; Bannon held in Contempt of Congress; and the latest cyber security concerns.

Play

House votes to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress; Trump announces new social media platform TRUTH Social; and the Biden administration says it will continue to expel migrants under Title 42.

Play

An all-Black Oklahoma town joins big cities in seeking reparations; a Kentucky vaccination skeptic does a 180; telehealth proves invaluable during pandemic; and spooky destinations lure tourists at Halloween.

U.S. Bill on Toxic "Forever Chemicals" Could Help Maryland

Play

Thursday, July 29, 2021   

ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- A bill to tackle contamination from so-called "forever chemicals" known as Perfluorinated and Polyfluorinated Substances (PFAS) is moving through Congress.

PFAS is used in a range of consumer products and linked to a variety of health problems. The chemical essentially does not degrade, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most Americans have PFAS in their blood.

Sonya Lunder, senior toxics policy advisor for the Sierra Club, explained PFAS contamination has been on the radar of environmental advocates for decades, but federal regulators didn't start paying attention until the turn of the century when evolving research uncovered the prevalence of chemicals.

"It's been maddening for environmental advocates, because PFAS chemicals are used so widely in things like microwave popcorn bags, or to make fabrics or rugs stain resistant," Lunder pointed out. "However, the chemicals in the environment build up in our food. They're in the water we drink. They linger in our body for years."

A recent study detected PFAS in two Maryland drinking-water systems. The PFAS Action Act of 2021 would accelerate the response to PFAS contamination and direct the EPA to establish federal regulations.

The Maryland Department of the Environment tested drinking water treatment plants serving 70% of the state's population. Although just two sites showed levels above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's health advisory levels, Lunder noted Maryland and other states are taking steps to prevent PFAS contamination.

"There are so many things that need to be done, and it is very cumbersome in these state-by-state approaches," Lunder contended. "They're paving the way, they're showing us what is possible, but what we really need to level the playing field to protect everybody and to do this more quickly is federal action."

Moving forward, Lunder asserted more needs to be done to prevent the need for regulators to continuously play catch-up. She argued for too long, chemicals have been created and marketed without enough research on the long-term impacts.

"Until we have a much better integrated system using better judgments and a more precautionary view, we're going to continue to find that these pollutants are widespread in the environment, impacting everyone in costing us an incredible amount of money," Lunder concluded.

The PFAS Action Act of 2021 passed the House with bipartisan support. But it likely faces obstacles in the closely-divided Senate.


get more stories like this via email
California has collected more than 600 tons of unwanted prescription drugs since the Take-Back Day program began in 2010. (Dodgerton Skillhause/Morguefile)

Health and Wellness

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, when the Drug Enforcement Administration encourages everyone to clean out …


Health and Wellness

BALTIMORE - This month marks the four-year anniversary of the #MeToo movement, and an art project aims to help incarcerated survivors heal by telling …

Social Issues

OGDEN, Utah - Utah is one of only a handful of states that taxes food, but one state legislator says taxing groceries should become a thing of the …


In a new poll, 71% of all registered voters support strengthening rules to reduce oil and gas methane pollution, including 73% of Independents and 50% of Republicans. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

CASPER, Wyo. - A strong majority of voters across party lines say they want national rules similar to those passed in Wyoming to reduce methane …

Health and Wellness

ARLINGTON, Va. - Although COVID-19 rates have gone down, the virus continues to hit the Hispanic community especially hard. Now, a new campaign aims …

Child-care advocates say if North Dakota doesn't boost funding for the system, more families might pull out of the workforce because of access issues. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. - A portion of American Rescue Plan funding sent to North Dakota has yet to be divvied up. Groups that want to improve the child-care …

Social Issues

PITTSBURGH - As businesses across the country deal with a massive labor shortage, Pennsylvania aims to entice people back to the workplace by …

Environment

ALBANY, N.Y. - Environmental groups want Gov. Kathy Hochul to sign a bill that mandates monitoring the state's drinking water for "emerging …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021