Nov 17, 2021

EPA Asks the Agency’s Science Advisory Board to Review Documents Regarding PFAS

EPA has transmitted to the Science Advisory Board four draft documents with data and new analyses

drinking water

The U.S. EPA is asking the agency’s Science Advisory Board to review draft scientific documents regarding the health effects of some per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). 

According to the EPA, this includes Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS). The EPA wants to update drinking water health advisories with new peer-reviewed approaches and expeditiously developing National Primary Drinking Water Regulations for these contaminants.

“Under our new PFAS Strategic Roadmap, EPA is moving aggressively on clear, robust, and science-based actions to protect communities suffering from legacy PFOA and PFOS contamination,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan in a statement. “This action will ensure a rigorous review from experienced scientists to strengthen our understanding of this preliminary information as the agency works toward developing revised health advisories for PFOA and PFOS, and soon establishing regulations that protect communities from these contaminants.”

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To move forward with these goals, EPA has transmitted to the Science Advisory Board four draft documents with data and new analyses that show that negative health effects may occur at much lower levels of exposure to PFOA and PFOS than previously thought. The data also suggests that PFOA is a likely carcinogen. 

After peer review, the information will be used for the development of health advisories and the development of Maximum Contaminant Level Goals and a National Primary Drinking Water Regulation for PFOA and PFOS. According to the EPA, the agency is now seeking independent scientific review of these documents and will make these draft documents available to the public. 

EPA adds that the agency will be collaborating with its partners regarding PFOA and PFOS in drinking water, and that it will try to speed up action to target the issue. Additionally, EPA will continue to develop a proposed PFAS National Primary Drinking Water Regulation for publication in Fall 2022. 

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