Perfluorinated alkyl compounds (PFAs)

This discussion prompt is on the regulation of “Forever Chemicals” namely perfluorinated alkyl compounds (PFAs). PFAs are used for many things including fire-fighting foams for the military water stain and corrosion resistant coatings on clothing and carpeting grease-resistant paper for food packaging and non-stick pans among other things. The problem with PFAs is that they are persistent in the environment (meaning that they do not degrade in the environment) they are both water and organic-soluble and they are very difficult to detect in a lab. Their concentrations in the environment are typically very low unless you live near a teflon or PFAs manufacturing plant or near a military base on which solders are trained to fight fires. The standard laboratory method to analyze PFAs is expensive and it has been proven with only a few of these PFAs compounds. The analytical methods to detect PFAs is not widely available to publicly-owned water treatment plants. In the meantime there have been water advisories and there are growing efforts to regulate these “forever chemicals”. Please review the following websites and comment by replying to this discussion board on your thoughts about regulating PFAs. You are also encouraged to watch the movie “Dark Waters” if you can access it! It is a very interesting movie about a lawyer taking on a large corporation over PFAs science contamination and impacts on human health. (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.) (true story behind the movie Dark Waters) (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.)

You are encouraged to read other links and information about PFAs as well. After reading – please comment…. Should we regulate compounds that we know to be hazardous to human health in “high” concentrations very persistent in the environment and very difficult to detect/analyze without expensive laboratory equipment. If you were a policy maker what policy(policies) would you support regarding regulating PFAs? If you were on the board of a large corporation that manufactures PFAs would you support the continued production of products that utilize these very durable persistent synthetic chemicals? In your comments try to take this from various perspectives: corporation stakeholder community member regulatory agency worker water treatment plant operator/manager…..


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