After years of collecting data that indicate the dangers of per- and poly-fluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS), the U.S. EPA and several of its state counterparts are beginning the regulatory process for these previously unregulated substances. Some state agencies have proposed PFAS legislation that seeks to regulate the substances’ concentration in everyday products and necessities through mechanisms such as drinking water limits, prohibitions on firefighting foam, and the development of groundwater and surface water quality standards. U.S. EPA is still in the research and development phase of providing national recommendations.
PFAS are a group of synthetic chemicals used in manufactured goods such as Teflon, waterproof materials, and firefighting foams. PFAS are ubiquitous, persist in the environment, and bioaccumulate. Studies have found that ninety-seven percent of people have PFAS in their blood stream. Research indicates PFAS exposure negatively impacts human health, from immunological effects to cancer.