Over 100 Residents of Communities Impacted by PFCs Demand Protection of EPA Science Program

IRIS program crucial for communities grappling with contamination from toxic chemicals Today, a letter signed by more than 100 people was submitted to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees demanding the protection of EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) program.
The signers come from communities and states across the country dealing with contamination of drinking water from perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) – a class of chemicals that persist in the environment and threaten human health.
The IRIS program is vital for developing scientific assessments of chemicals like PFCs and providing support to state and local governments that desperately need EPA’s help.
“The proposal to defund EPA’s IRIS program is anti-science and a slap in the face to polluted communities,” said EWG Legislative Attorney Melanie Benesh.
From large cities to small towns, communities across the country are struggling with how best to manage contamination from well-known toxic PFCs, like PFOA and PFOS, while understanding and protecting against the potential health risks from less well-studied PFCs like GenX.
We need a strong IRIS program to help investigate the high levels of PFCs in our drinking water.” Berrey and 14 other Alaskans signed the letter.
IRIS scientists and the program’s chemical assessments are vital for evaluating and providing advice on chemicals like PFCs to inform environmental and public health decisions by state and local governments.
With overwhelming local support and need for the program, the letter demonstrates that this is not the time to eliminate or otherwise undermine IRIS.
Such a decision would cost the EPA needed scientific expertise that serves the agency, regions, and states and would ultimately threaten public health across the country.
EWG is non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment.

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