WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) helped secure the release this week of a draft federal study regarding the levels of certain toxic chemicals that are safe for exposure. According to recent news reports, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had been blocking the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from releasing the study on Per-and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances or PFAS chemicals, which are used in manufacturing and have been linked to a variety of serious health conditions.
Earlier this month Brown and Portman led a bipartisan group of 10 Senators in demanding the administration release the results of the study. The Senators also joined an amendment to the National Defense Authorization bill on the floor last week that would have compelled the release of the report.
The draft report, released this week, suggests updating the “minimum risk level” of PFAS chemicals to a lower threshold. But the report is only in draft form. It will continue to be reviewed by experts and is now open for a 30 day public period before it is finalized.
Brown and Portman are encouraging Ohioans to weigh in to ensure the final report is based on all the best science and information.
“We must ensure Ohio communities have access to the very best science when it comes to toxic chemicals,” Brown said. “I’m encouraging Ohio experts and communities to weigh in as this report is finalized and urging these agencies to take those comments very seriously as they develop final recommended levels of PFAS chemicals.”
“I am pleased that the administration has released this report because our communities deserve to have the best available information and science on the human health impacts of contaminants,” said Portman. “The release of the study is an important step in making sure we are using the best available science to ensure our communities and families in Ohio have access to safe drinking water.”