A committee of the prestigious National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine this week recommended that the blood of perhaps tens of millions of Americans be tested for the presence of the ubiquitous "forever" chemicals collectively called PFAS. Among other things, the National Academies committee concluded that PFAS in blood at a concentration of between 2 and 20 nanograms per milliliter is cause for concern.
A nanogram is one billionth of a gram and a milliliter is one thousandth of a liter.
Suffice it to say, this is a really, really small amount.
What do the National Academies recommend one do if one has such concentrations, or higher, of PFAS in one's blood? Reduce one's exposure to PFAS. I'm thinking that might be good advice for everyone.
On the same day the media is reporting on the National Academies' alarm over PFAS, Inside EPA is reporting that EPA is still having trouble getting to any of the destinations identified in its PFAS road map, including the listing of any PFAS as hazardous substances regulated under Federal law. When EPA published its road map, I expressed concern that the road ahead was a rocky one (https://insights.mintz.com/post/102h8ro/epas-ambitious-pfas-road-map-is-out-how-lost-will-we-be-when-epa-reaches-its-m), and most of EPA's delay is caused by circumstances out of its control.
Still, it is concerning that scientists are sounding louder and more frequent alarms over really minute concentrations of PFAS in our bodies but PFAS remain completely unregulated as a matter of Federal law. In the meantime, the states and the courts continue to fill the gap and confusion, and increasing fear, continue to reign.
But the agency has again missed its latest deadline for issuing the first-time proposal, after indicating in the spring Unified Agenda that it would issue the proposal by June of this year, following repeated delays. An EPA spokeswoman did not answer questions on why the proposal has been delayed, only saying that publishing the CERCLA rule “remains a top priority for EPA. We are working as quickly as possible to publish” it, she said.