GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) — EPA Region 8 held an engagement session for communities in Colorado and other areas on a strategic roadmap for PFAS on March 8.
The strategic roadmap runs from 2021 through 2024. It is designed to “set timelines by which EPA plans to take specific actions and commits to bolder new policies to safeguard public health, protect the environment, and hold polluters accountable”, per the EPA website. You can view the EPA’s PFAS roadmap here.
PFAS stands for per- and polyfluorinated substances. They are manufactured chemicals used in a wide variety of products from microwave pop-corn packaging and fish to nonstick cookware and water-resistant fabrics
According to the CDC, here are some common sources of concern regarding PFAS:
- They do not break down in the environment
- They can move through soil and contaminate drinking water sources
- They build up (bioaccumulate) in wildlife
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATDSR) have linked PFAS to numerous negative health problems such as:
- Increased cholesterol levels
- Increased risk of kidney or testicular cancer
- Changes in liver enzymes
- Small decreases in infant birth weights
- Increased risk of high blood pressure or pre-eclampsia in pregnant women
- Decreased vaccine response in children
Visit the EPA, ATSDR and CDC websites to learn more about PFAS, their effects, and how you can be exposed.