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Consumer Reports: EPA plan for PFAS chemicals is good first step, but more action needed

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Biden administration today announced plans to help protect consumers from health problems connected to a group of toxic chemicals known as PFAS.  The plans include a roadmap from the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) that outlines concrete actions for addressing PFAS over the next three years.

Consumer Reports is a strong advocate for federal limits on PFAS, which have been linked to health problems such as immunotoxicity, cancer, thyroid disease, and birth defects.  A recent CR investigation of tap water in the U.S. found that nearly every sample tested contained measurable levels of PFAS. PFAS are widely used by manufacturers to make products resistant to stains, grease, and water, and they are used in hundreds of popular household items.

Brian Ronholm, Director of Food Safety Policy for Consumer Reports, said, “This EPA roadmap is an encouraging first step. We see some positive developments in the agency’s approach to addressing PFAS, such as expediting a nationwide drinking water standard.  Ultimately, we really need to see more details and more action to know whether this roadmap will translate into the reduction and elimination of these dangerous chemicals. It should be emphasized that this roadmap does not remove the need for Congress to act on PFAS legislation, and we urge lawmakers to keep pushing for reforms.”

CR is endorsing bills introduced in Congress such as the PFAS Action Act and the Clean Water Standards for PFAS Act. California recently became the seventh state to ban the use of PFAS in food packaging after the governor signed a CR-backed bill into law.  

PFAS are sometimes called “forever chemicals” because they don’t break down easily and persist in the environment for many years. 

Contact: Carsen.mata@consumer.org