PFAS chemicals: health risks and regulation

Listen 49:30
In this Aug. 1, 2018 photo weeds engulf a playground at housing section of the former Naval Air Warfare Center Warminster in Warminster, Pa. the foams once used routinely in firefighting training at military bases contained PFAS. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

In this Aug. 1, 2018 photo weeds engulf a playground at housing section of the former Naval Air Warfare Center Warminster in Warminster, Pa. the foams once used routinely in firefighting training at military bases contained PFAS. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Guests: Hope Grosse, Alexis Temkin, Brian Fitzpatrick

PFAS chemicals are in a lot of products — non-stick cookware, stain resistant carpets, water repellent clothing, food wrappers, and firefighting foam. These long living compounds have also been found in drinking water in many communities across the country. PFAS have been linked to a number of health problems, including certain cancers, thyroid and pregnancy problems, and elevated cholesterol. Still regulating these toxic chemicals has proven challenging, prompting states like Pennsylvania and New Jersey to set their own PFAS limits and rules. This hour, we examine the health risks that PFAS pose, what the EPA, Congress and states’ are doing to regulate them, and the efforts to clean them up. Our guests are HOPE GROSSE, co-founder of the Buxmont Coalition for Safer Water, REPRESENTATIVE BRIAN FITZPATRICK, a Republican representing Pennsylvania’s 1st District who co-chairs the Congressional PFAS Task Force, and ALEXIS TEMKIN, a toxicologist with the Environmental Working Group.

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