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Applied sciences and engineering/Industrial science/Industrial chemistry

The American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Center for Scientific Evidence in Public Issues (EPI Center) and the National Governors Association (NGA) hosted two webinars in a series on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and drinking water for NGA members. 

This risk communications guide is one of four guides developed by the AAAS Center for Scientific Evidence in Public Issues (EPI Center) to help local and state leaders understand the current scientific evidence as they address per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water. 

Detected in drinking water and drinking water sources throughout the United States, uncertainties about the risk of various PFAS, the evolving science, and the variability among policies and standards make addressing these emerging contaminants difficult. These guides provide an overview of the scientific evidence to help local and state leaders evaluate the risk of PFAS in drinking water, from monitoring to treatment and mitigation.

The AAAS EPI Center and the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Legislative Caucus will host a series of roundtables at the beginning of December to convene decisionmakers to discuss the current body of scientific evidence concerning PFAS contamination of drinking water, how that evidence can inform policy-making to mitigate the impacts, and priorities for protecting communities with contaminated drinking water supplies.

A class of thousands of synthetic compounds used in everything from housewares to fire-fighting foam, trace doses of several of the most-researched PFAS have been linked to harmful health effects. There is not yet enough research to suggest safe exposure levels for each PFAS. 

Americans spend 70 years of an average 79-year life span inside, exposed to thousands of particles and gases.

Despite significant challenges ahead, the U.S. economy leads the world in high-tech manufacturing and technology-infused services, said Deborah Wince-Smith, president of the nonprofit Council on Competitiveness.