The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed on Tuesday the first national regulation to limit the presence in drinking water of chemicals that are harmful to health.
The announcement would affect public water distributors and bottling companies, which must test, report and reduce the presence of six perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to ensure safe consumption.
This decision “will prevent thousands of deaths over time and reduce tens of thousands of serious illnesses,” the EPA said in a statement.
Last year, the EPA issued a health alert for states, local authorities, and manufacturers to reduce exposure to some of these chemicals by gathering scientific evidence that they are more toxic than previously thought.
Long-term exposure to PFASs can cause serious health problems, including cancer.
“Communities across the country have been threatened for far too long by these contaminants,” said EPA head Michael Regan, pledging a strong response from him.
The Infrastructure Law promoted by the Democrat Joe Biden Administration and approved by Congress in 2021 provides for an investment of US$10 billion to combat the presence of contaminants in drinking water.