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At least one water system in every state across the U.S. contains forever chemicals known as PFAS, according to the Environmental Working Group. PFAS are widely-used chemicals present in everything from cosmetics to fast food wrappers. They also don’t break down in the environment.
Because they stick around for so long, low levels of PFAS can be found almost everywhere – in water, soil, wildlife – and in us. In fact, the CDC found that these chemicals are in nearly everyone’s blood. PFAS exposure has been linked to a host of health issues including cancer and birth defects.
A new advisory from the EPA effectively eliminates any safe level of PFAS found in water. But how do you get rid of them? And what do you need to know to keep yourself safe?
Carol Kwiatkowski: senior associate, Green Science Policy Institute; adjunct assistant professor, North Carolina State University
Sandy Wynn-Stelt: co-chair, Great Lakes PFAS Action Network
Kyle Burton: field operations director at the Bureau of Drinking Water and Groundwater, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources