U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján
U.S. SENATE News:
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján joined Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and nine senators in calling on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to set standards on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) found in bottled water to ensure bottled water products are safe for drinking.
PFAS are pervasive and persistent chemicals that accumulate in people’s bodies over time, and exposure to these chemicals has been linked to cancer, liver damage, decreased fertility, and other serious health conditions.
“Despite the clear and present danger PFAS exposure presents, there are no enforceable limits on these substances in drinking water in the United States,” wrote the senators in a letter to FDA Acting Commissioner Janet Woodcock. “Given the widespread persistence of PFAS in our environment and drinking water, many people have turned to bottled water to avoid adding toxic chemicals to their bodies. Establishing [Standards of Quality] for bottled water is an important step that will help ensure consumer confidence and protect public health.”
PFAS were first developed in the 1940s and are used in many products across all industries due to their grease-, water-, and oil-repellent properties, including food packaging, nonstick pans, carpeting, and many more. Their properties also make them persistent in the environment, leading to PFAS becoming ubiquitous in contaminating water sources throughout the United States.
When tap water is compromised, many consumers turn to bottled water. The FDA regulates bottled water, but has not set a limit for PFAS chemicals in bottled water. Without nationwide FDA regulations for PFAS in bottled water or Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations for tap water, some states have implemented their own PFAS rules for drinking water, but no such state rules exist for bottled water.
The letter was also signed by U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Angus King (I-ME), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Maggie Hassan (D-NH).
The full text of the letter can be found here.