On this week’s Truth to Power, we gather folks around the microphones for a community conversation about the “Forever Chemicals” in our environment known as PFAS which were made famous by the recent film “Dark Waters.” Joining hosts Justin Mog (Sustainability Now!) and Hart Hagan (The Climate Report / Let’s Talk) are three community experts. Teena Halbig, U of L B.S. and Certificate in Medical Technology, MT(ASCP), Microbiologist, Virologist, Clinical Laboratory Scientist, and U of L Researcher (retired). Sheron Lear is President and Co-founder along with Teena of the Floyds Fork Environmental Association, and she is in her 60th year working in laboratory health care and medicine. Satchel Walton, is a junior at DuPont Manual who is journalist, and author: Check out his reporting on PFAS at https://thegreenreport.org/forever-chemicals-in-louisville-drinking-water-is-it-time-for-action/
PFAS in Drinking Water will be explored at an upcoming public virtual event on Tuesday, October 20, 2020 10am-2:30pm in recognition of United Nations Day & UN Human Rights Day. Find all the details and the link to join at https://louisville.edu/sustainability/events/united-nations-day-un-human-rights-day-program-human-trafficking-forever-chemicals-pfas
National legislation that is pending with respect to PFAS include:
H.R.535 - PFAS Action Act of 2019 https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/535
H.R.2377 - Protect Drinking Water from PFAS Act of 2019 https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/2377
H.R.2605 - Prevent Release Of Toxics Emissions, Contamination, and Transfer Act of 2019. https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/2605
Learn more from the Environmental Working Group at http://www.ewg.org
We recommend the films Dark Waters and The Devil We Know, and Rob Bilott's book, Exposure.
According to the EPA: “Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of [anthropogenic] chemicals that includes PFOA, PFOS, GenX, and many other chemicals. PFAS have been manufactured and used in a variety of industries around the globe, including in the United States since the 1940s. [These] chemicals are very persistent in the environment and in the human body – meaning they don’t break down and they can accumulate over time. There is evidence that exposure to PFAS can lead to adverse human health effects.
PFAS can be found in:
- Food packaged in PFAS-containing materials, processed with equipment that used PFAS, or grown in PFAS-contaminated soil or water.
- Commercial household products, including stain- and water-repellent fabrics, nonstick products (e.g., Teflon), polishes, waxes, paints, cleaning products, and fire-fighting foams (a major source of groundwater contamination at airports and military bases where firefighting training occurs).
- Workplace, including production facilities or industries (e.g., chrome plating, electronics manufacturing or oil recovery) that use PFAS.
- Drinking water, typically localized and associated with a specific facility (e.g., manufacturer, landfill, wastewater treatment plant, firefighter training facility).
- Living organisms, including fish, animals and humans, where PFAS have the ability to build up and persist over time.
…Although PFOA and PFOS are no longer manufactured in the U.S., they are still produced internationally and can be imported in consumer goods such as carpet, leather and apparel, textiles, paper and packaging, coatings, rubber and plastics.” Learn more at https://www.epa.gov/pfas/basic-information-pfas
On Truth to Power each week, we gather Forward Radio programmers and friends to discuss the state of the world, the nation, the state, and the city! It's a community conversation like you won't hear anywhere else!
Truth to Power airs every Sunday at 4pm, Monday at 2pm, and Tuesday at 9am on Louisville's grassroots, community radio station, Forward Radio 106.5fm WFMP and live streams at http://forwardradio.org