Connecting The Dots: PFOA, Congress And The EPA

May 23, 2016

Saint Gobain Performance Plastics in Merrimack, NH manufactures textiles coated in PTFE, a liquid dispersion containing chemicals like PFOA.
Credit Emily Corwin / NHPR

Last week was a big news week for residents dealing with water contamination issues in New Hampshire and across the country. 

First, the EPA announced a new lifetime health advisory for PFOA and PFOS, chemicals found in high concentrations near the former Pease Air Force Base in 2014, and around industrial sites in Merrimack and Amherst this spring.

Then, Congress announced it had come to a compromise on the Toxic Substances Control Modernization Act, which oversees the chemical industry. The last toxic chemical regulation act passed in 1976. 

To help us understand these developments, All Things Considered host Peter Biello turns to Sharon Lerner. Lerner's been investigating these chemicals for over a year. She writes for The Intercept, where you can read all of her reporting on PFOA and its replacement chemicals.