US EPA to announce PFAS health advisories at 3rd National PFAS Conference

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Radhika Fox, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Assistant Administrator for Water and Co-Chair of EPA’s Council on PFAS, will kick off the 3rd National PFAS Conference as a keynote speaker on Wednesday morning.

This three day conference will focus on highly fluorinated compounds, their impacts on environmental justice, and leading scientific discoveries.

Assistant Administrator Fox will share the Agency’s progress under the PFAS Strategic Roadmap and highlight EPA’s work to tackle PFAS through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

As reported in Bloomberg Law, yesterday, the EPA is scheduled to release health advisories for four PFAS.

The EPA’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap promised health advisories for GenX and PFBS by spring 2022.

GenX was first discovered seven years ago in Wilmington, NC’s drinking water by NC State and US EPA researchers; however, the public would not become fully aware of the contamination until an investigative reporter published the findings in the local StarNews. Wilmington, NC is part of the Cape Fear River Watershed, which is the largest river system in North Carolina and supplies drinking water to over 1.5 million residents.

GenX is the replacement for PFOA–a chemical voluntarily phased out of production over ten years ago in the US. PFOA was manufactured by a chemical company located in Fayetteville, NC before it was replaced with GenX. Participants of NC State’s GenX Exposures Study had elevated levels of PFOA and other PFAS in their blood above the national average.

PFAS are a class of compounds called “forever chemicals” because they build up in our blood, don’t break down in the environment, and there is currently no proven, safe disposal method. PFAS are found in the blood of more than 95% of Americans, and many are associated with serious health concerns for the immune and reproductive systems, liver, and certain cancers.

This conference series is uniquely designed to exchange information, provide support to PFAS-affected communities, and facilitate engagement across diverse sectors involved with PFAS to accelerate the protection of health and the environment. The conference brings together some of the nation’s top scientists, community advocates, government officials, journalists, attorneys, and more to discuss cutting-edge PFAS topics and share perspectives on how best to address PFAS contamination in the United States.

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