Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer, U.S. State senators have proposed legislation that would require the Environmental Protection Agency to develop safety standards for water contaminants such as PFOA.
New York is among some of the states that have not yet established strict safety standards for unregulated industrial chemicals.
Senators of New York State are now calling for the EPA to establish legal standards for the acceptable levels of such chemicals, rather than just issuing health advisories.
Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and other perfluorinated compounds, were used for decades in the manufacturing of non-stick and heat resistant products, until the dangers of these chemicals recently came into the limelight.
Studies have linked PFOA exposure to several diseases, including high cholesterol, kidney cancer, ulcerative colitis, thyroid disease, pregnancy-induced hypertension, and testicular cancer.
Concerns about PFOA first came about in Upstate New York in 2014 when unsafe levels of the chemical were found in the water supply of Hoosick Falls.
“We’ve seen very clearly how much damage can happen to our local drinking water supplies when toxic chemicals like PFOA, PFOS, … dioxane and perchlorate aren’t monitored by the EPA…My legislation would require the EPA to come up with strong and enforceable safety standards for these toxins, so that no other community has to experience what Hoosick Falls, Newburgh, and Long Island have gone through over the last year,” stated Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
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