Science Group Endorses PFAS Action Act

Statement by Dr. Jennifer Jones, Union of Concerned Scientists

Published Dec 14, 2023

WASHINGTON (December 14, 2023)—Today, members of the U.S. House introduced a bill to reduce the dangers posed by the class of chemicals known as PFAS, a common pollutant that can cause serious health problems, including increased cancer risk, weakened immune systems, and disruptions to children’s cognitive development. Reps. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) and Pat Ryan (D-N.Y.) introduced the bill, the PFAS Action Act of 2023. It would require the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to take swift action on regulating PFAS chemicals, including setting a national drinking water standard, designating certain PFAS chemicals as hazardous substances, and limiting the discharging or incinerating of PFAS chemicals. If passed, this bill would help protect public health from these pervasive chemicals, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Below is a statement by Dr. Jennifer Jones, director of the Center for Science and Democracy at UCS.

“For decades, people across the country have been exposed to PFAS chemicals in their drinking water, soil and commonly used household products. People living in and around current and former military facilities, people of color, and low-income communities have been hit hardest. The consequences to public health have been severe, and federal agencies haven’t moved quickly and comprehensively enough to address these very real harms. The PFAS Action Act would empower the EPA to do much more to identify PFAS contamination, increase PFAS testing, and deliver schools and child-care facilities the resources they need to make sure they can keep kids safe. It would help address the reality of widespread PFAS contamination today and start to rein in future pollution.

“The bill would put science to work protecting people’s health and safety. With a stronger mandate from Congress, the EPA would be obligated to move quickly to make sure that rampant PFAS pollution will one day be a thing of the past. This bill would make a real difference for communities across the country who deserve clean water, clean air, and smart, science-based public health protections.”