EPA issues tighter limits for industrial chemical in water

By MICHAEL BIESECKER
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal regulators are tightening limits for human exposure to an industrial chemical used for decades in such consumer products as non-stick pans, stain-resistant carpets and microwave popcorn bags.

The cancer-causing chemical PFOA has been found in the tap water of dozens of factory towns near industrial sites where it was manufactured. DuPont, 3M and other U.S. chemical companies voluntarily phased out the use of PFOA in recent years.

Also at issue is the related chemical PFOS used in firefighting foam.

The Environmental Protection Agency issued the stricter standards for the chemicals on Thursday, following years of public pressure by advocacy groups. The agency said the new limits we prompted by recent scientific studies linking PFOA and PFOS to testicular and kidney cancers, as well as birth defects and liver damage.

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