A bill to establish federal regulations for a group of harmful chemicals known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday with bipartisan support. The legislation, which passed the House with 247 votes, would require the EPA to establish drinking water regulations for two common types of PFAS, classify PFAS chemicals as a hazardous substance and hold polluters responsible for cleanup, limit the use of firefighting foam that contains the chemicals, and provide funding to monitor for contamination.
PFAS, which are used in consumer and industrial applications to make products water-, oil-, and stain-resistant, have been linked to cancer, thyroid disease, and pregnancy complications. The Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit organization that built an interactive map of PFAS contamination sites, estimates that 110 million people in the U.S. are drinking contaminated water.
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