Wexton Votes to Protect Public Health and Address PFAS Contamination
Washington, January 10, 2020
Washington, DC -- Today, Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) voted to pass the bipartisan PFAS Action Act of 2019 to regulate these harmful chemicals and clean up existing contamination. Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (referred to as PFAS) are a class of man-made chemicals that are commonly referred to as “forever chemicals” because of their persistence in the environment and have been linked to dangerous health effects including cancer, damage to the immune system, infertility, impaired child development, high cholesterol, and thyroid disease.
“Every American deserves to have clean drinking water and a healthy environment to live in,” said Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton. “PFAS chemicals are an urgent threat to public health, and, after years of inaction from the EPA and the industries responsible for PFAS contamination, Congress is stepping in to keep our communities safe. With this legislation we are taking long overdue action to stem the flow of PFAS chemicals into our environment and protect the millions of Americans who are exposed to unsafe levels of these chemicals every day.”
PFAS chemicals are found in everyday products such as clothing, carpets, fabrics, paper packaging for food, non-stick cookware, adhesives, and firefighting foam. According to data from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it is estimated that millions of Americans are exposed to unsafe levels of PFAS through their drinking water, but the likelihood of health issues resulting from PFAS depends on factors such as concentration, frequency, and duration of exposure.
The bill is supported by the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) and over 20 environmental groups, including the Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters.
The full text of the bill can be found here.