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Many communities have harmful forever chemicals in their water. The EPA wants to propose a limit on these and ensure healthy drinking water across the US.

The Environmental Protection Agency is looking to propose restrictions on harmful chemicals in drinking water. The agency did some research and found the chemicals are dangerous even in undetectable amounts.

According to the Insurance Journal, the EPA is concerned these chemicals affect children's immune systems. There are also indications these chemicals are linked to low birth weight, cancer, and several other health issues.

“The compounds PFOA and PFOS are part of a larger family of chemicals called PFAS, for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, that are widespread, don’t degrade in the environment, and have been around for decades. They’ve been used in nonstick pans, food packaging, and firefighting foam. Their use is now mostly phased out in the U.S., but some still remain.”

Over the last ten years, an increasing number of cities realized they have a problem. These communities are usually located next to Air Force bases. Some water utilities switched to using water bottle filling stations and installed a $2.5 million treatment system. 

Overall, this isn’t a cheap problem to solve. Between 4% to 12% of water providers across the US will need to treat for these chemicals, and poorer communities will struggle to train staff and find funding.

Some communities and states have already started making changes. For example, Michigan set a drinking water limit and paid for tests that helped find and fix problematic places. Hopefully, other states will follow soon.

Marina is passionate about sustainability and works to help ensure our planet stays as our home for a long time. She takes part in environmental conservation by recycling and not buying single-use plastic.

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