EPA tasks Science Advisory Board with reassessing health effects of PFOA and PFOS

EPA tasks Science Advisory Board with reassessing health effects of PFOA and PFOS

This information will be used to aid in the development of Maximum Contaminant Level Goals and a National Primary Drinking Water Regulation for the substances.

November 18, 2021

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has tasked its Science Advisory Board with reviewing draft scientific documents regarding the health effects of two per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), both of which are linked to widespread drinking water contamination.

“Under our new PFAS Strategic Roadmap, EPA is moving aggressively on clear, robust, and science-based actions to protect communities suffering from legacy PFOA and PFOS contamination,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “This action will ensure a rigorous review from experienced scientists to strengthen our understanding of this preliminary information as the agency works toward developing revised health advisories for PFOA and PFOS, and soon establishing regulations that protect communities from these contaminants.”

EPA has transmitted to the Science Advisory Board four draft documents with recent scientific data and new analyses that indicate that negative health effects may occur at much lower levels of exposure to PFOA and PFOS than previously understood and that PFOA is a likely carcinogen. The draft documents present EPA’s initial analysis and findings with respect to this new information.

Following peer review, this information will be used to inform health advisories and aid in the development of Maximum Contaminant Level Goals and a National Primary Drinking Water Regulation for PFOA and PFOS. EPA is now seeking independent scientific review of these documents. EPA is making these draft documents available to the public to ensure a transparent and robust evaluation of the available information.

The agency said it will be actively engaging with its partners regarding PFOA and PFOS in drinking water, including supporting their monitoring and remediation efforts.

In addition, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, signed by President Biden on Nov. 15, invests $10 billion to help communities test for and clean up PFAS and other emerging contaminants in drinking water and wastewater, and will be used to support projects in disadvantaged communities.