'Forever chemicals,' PFAS threaten water quality all over Pennsylvania

Jul 23 2019 | 06:36 AM

    To the Editor:
    Access to clean drinking water is a basic human right. But here in Pennsylvania, the quality of our water is threatened by PFAS chemicals detected all over the state, from Bucks County to Pittsburgh.
    PFAS are a class of chemicals used as fire retardants and industrial processes with severe health consequences for the immune system, cholesterol levels, fertility, and cancers. And because PFAS are "forever chemicals," they don’t break down once in our soil and water supplies.
    It is imperative that we confront the crisis and ensure clean water for all. Fortunately, provisions that aim to rectify the damage caused by PFAS have passed in the U.S House as part of the National Defense Authorization Act. This will set a health-based standard for how much PFAS can be present, It would also allow for the federal government to officially recognize PFAS contamination for what it truly is — an emergency — so federal funds can be used to treat PFAS-contaminated water.
    This strong legislation is fundamental in protecting the health of our communities and securing safe and clean drinking water for people in Pennsylvania and throughout the country.
    Natasha Porter
    Bryn Mawr, Pa.