EPA announces plan to reduce harmful chemicals in drinking water

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The EPA announced an action plan Thursday to reduce two hazardous substances in drinking water.

The plan, which was devised after months of public input, addresses PFOA and PFOS – two of the most well-known chemicals known as PFAS.

GenX is a PFAS, but is not included in the plan.

PFAS are man-made chemicals that have been manufactured since the 1940s.

Both chemicals are persistent in both the environment and the human body – meaning they don’t break down and can accumulate over time.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, there is evidence that exposure to PFAS can lead to adverse health effects.

The agency hopes to improve drinking water standards by moving forward with a Maximum Contaminant Level for the chemicals, or a limit on the amount of the chemicals that can be present in drinking water. 

The plan focuses on other areas, like developing clean-up strategies, adding PFAS chemicals to the Toxics Release Inventory.

And creating rules to prohibit the use of certain PFAS chemicals.

While implementing the items outlined in the plan, the EPA says it will continue to research PFAS chemicals, so it can better understand them and the effect their presence has on our environment and drinking water.

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