Limit Toxic Chemical in Drinking Water

Target: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, Gina McCarthy

Goal: Establish and enforce regulatory limits for toxic perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in drinking water.

A number of small industrial towns have found high amounts of the chemical PFOA in their drinking water, possibly leading to higher cancer rates within their populations. These towns only discovered the high levels of PFOA in their water sources because their cancer rates incited them to have their water tested. It is evident that this chemical poses serious health risks, and it is time for the EPA to officially regulate this substance’s presence in water sources by establishing a legal limit that can be properly enforced.

PFOA is a synthetic chemical created in the 1940s that has been used in many products including Teflon pans, Gore-Tex jackets, and ski waxes. It has been flagged as a potentially harmful substance because it has been found to remain in the human body for long periods of time and has been listed as a “probable cause” for many serious diseases including thyroid, kidney, and testicular cancers.

As a result, this chemical is being slowly phased out of products in the U.S. Unfortunately, many towns that once housed plastic plants, such as Petersburgh, N.Y. and North Bennington, VT, have high levels of this toxin in their drinking water, and it has gone unmonitored for years because there are no federal regulations for this chemical.

The EPA has regulatory standards for numerous chemicals, including lead and arsenic, and carefully monitors their presence in drinking water. PFOA is a toxic chemical that has been linked to serious and deadly illnesses, and it is time for the EPA to establish regulations on it. Please sign the below petition to demand the EPA establish legal limits for PFOA in drinking water.


Dear Ms. McCarthy,

I am writing to request that the EPA establishes regulatory limits on the chemical perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, in drinking water across the U.S. A number of small towns that once housed plastic plants have found high levels of this chemical in their drinking water after testing their water sources to investigate the high rates of cancer within their populations. It is terrible that these communities have been unknowingly drinking this toxic chemical for years, and it is essential that the EPA begin regulating and monitoring all drinking water for PFOA.

PFOA is known to be a potentially harmful substance and has been linked to dangerous diseases including thyroid, kidney, and testicular cancers. Because of this link, PFOA is slowly being removed from products in the U.S. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 98 percent of Americans still have small amounts of this chemical in their blood. It is evident that we know the potential serious health effects of this chemical, and it is ridiculous that there are no limits on the amount of it that can be found in something as essential as drinking water.

The EPA has regulations in place for other toxic chemicals such as arsenic and lead when it comes to drinking water. With PFOA’s likely link to life-threatening illnesses, and multiple towns already having to find high levels of it in their drinking water of their own accord, it seems that it is high time the EPA intervene and begin to regulate this chemical as well. Please make every effort to ensure that the EPA establishes and enforces regulatory limits for PFOA in drinking water across the U.S.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Steve Johnson

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