PBS NewsHour: What are PFASs, the toxic chemicals being found in drinking water?

August 12 2016

More than 16 million Americans drink water contaminated with toxic chemicals that can be traced to military and industrial sites, according to new research from Harvard University. The compounds in question are called poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances, or PFASs. They are typically used in fire retardants, oil and water repellents, furniture, waterproof clothes, take out containers and non-stick cookware.…

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TIME: How to Find Out If Your Drinking Water Is Safe

August 10 2016

A recent study found that millions of Americans are consuming water from a public supply contaminated with dangerous levels of polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl, otherwise known as PFASs. Though not all of their potential effects are known, these industrial chemicals have been linked to various medical conditions like high cholesterol, obesity, hormone suppression, and cancer. Effects may not be noticeable for some people, but certain aspects, including timing of puberty, could compound the potential risks.…

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NPR: Federal Data Shows Firefighting Chemicals In U.S. Drinking Water Sources

August 9 2016

A study of drinking water supplies throughout the U.S. shows that numerous sources are contaminated with firefighting chemicals. A team of scientists examined government data from thousands of public drinking water supplies. The water samples had been collected by the federal Environmental Protection Agency. The scientists were looking for several types of chemicals from a class of fluorinated substances used commonly in firefighting foam.…

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CNN: Study: Public water supply is unsafe for millions of Americans

August 9 2016

For their new study, Hu, Blum and their colleagues examined more than 36,000 water samples collected by the Environmental Protection Agency between 2013 and 2015. The researchers discovered that 66 public water supplies serving 6 million Americans had at least one water sample that measured at or above the EPA recommended safety limit of 70 parts per trillion for perfluorooctanesulfonic acid and perfluorooctanoic acid, two types of PFASs. Newark, Delaware, and Warminster, Pennsylvania, showed particularly high concentration levels.…

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CBS Local: California Kids Have Higher Levels Of Flame Retardant Chemicals In Bodies Than East Coasters

July 11 2016

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Just weeks after congress passed a law giving the Environmental Protection Agency more power to ban harmful chemicals; a new study demonstrates just how much chemical regulations can impact the health of our nation’s youth. From couch cushions, to baby products, to kid’s pajamas, chemical flame retardants are widely used in consumer goods. As a result, the average American infant has……

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Alaska Public Media: How safe are your clothes? Speaker talks about everyday toxics, mountaineering

June 27 2016


How safe is your raincoat? Or your carpet? Biophysical chemist Arlene Blum, the director of the Green Science Policy Institute, is speaking in Anchorage Tuesday about how the chemicals in our everyday items could be impacting our health.…

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Chemical Watch: PFCs in drinking water link to human blood levels

June 15 2016

Californian researchers have found a possible link between blood levels of perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), in the general population, and concentrations in drinking water. Meanwhile, eating fish from PFC-contaminated waters may also…

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Chemical Watch: US House considers modifying flammability standards in car seats

June 3 2016

Congressman Jared Huffman (D–California) has introduced legislation to revise the federal flammability standard for children’s car seats. This would allow it to be met without added chemical flame retardants. Bill HR 5359 would direct the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to revise the existing flammability standards to measure a car seat’s smoulder resistance, rather than using an open flame test. The measure would also direct…

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