Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), along with two other senators, has introduced a bill to tackle the spread of a cancer-linked chemical that has spread into drinking water.
According to Common Dreams, the piece of legislation would require a national cleanup effort of drinking water contaminated by the toxic “forever chemicals” per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, collectively known as PFAS.
“As hundreds of communities across the country are dealing with toxic PFAS contamination in their drinking water it is unconscionable that huge corporations like DuPont have, for decades, concealed evidence of how dangerous these compounds are in order to keep profiting at the expense of human health. Congress must pass this legislation to put an end to corporate stonewalling and criminal behavior and tackle this public health crisis. It is not a radical idea to demand that when people in the world’s richest country turn on their taps, the water they drink is free of toxic chemicals,” says Sanders
The Prevent Future American Sickness (PFAS) Act says PFAS can be found in the following:
- Food packaged in PFAS-containing materials, processed with equipment that used PFAS, or grown in PFAS-contaminated soil or water.
- Commercial household products, including stain- and water-repellent fabrics, nonstick products (e.g., Teflon), polishes, waxes, paints, cleaning products, and fire-fighting foams (a major source of groundwater contamination at airports and military bases where firefighting training occurs).
- Workplace, including production facilities or industries (e.g., chrome plating, electronics manufacturing or oil recovery) that use PFAS.
- Drinking water, typically localized and associated with a specific facility (e.g., manufacturer, landfill, wastewater treatment plant, firefighter training facility).
- Living organisms, including fish, animals and humans, where PFAS have the ability to build up and persist over time.
The PFAS Act would require the EPA to label PFAS compounds as hazardous substances forcing the giant polluters to clean up the contamination. The act would also provide grants to both households and communities who need to safely filter out PFAS compounds from their water.
PFAS cannot break down once released into the environment so end up accumulating in blood and organs when ingested causing cancer, birth defects, negative effects not he immune system, and other harmful ailments.