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EPA unveils strategy to regulate toxic 'forever chemicals'

Chemicals known as PFAS are increasingly turning up in public drinking water systems, private wells and even food.

MAINE, USA — The Biden administration is launching a wide-ranging strategy to regulate toxic industrial compounds used in products including cookware, carpets and firefighting foams.

Environmental Protection Agency head Michael Regan says his agency is taking a series of actions to limit pollution from a cluster of long-lasting chemicals known as PFAS that are increasingly turning up in public drinking water systems, private wells and even food. 

The chemicals are associated with serious health conditions, including cancer. 

"The Defense Department said it is moving to assess and clean up PFAS-contaminated sites throughout the country, while the Food and Drug Administration will expand testing of the food supply to estimate Americans’ exposure to PFAS from food. And the Agriculture Department will boost efforts to prevent and address PFAS contamination in food," according to the Associated Press. 

The plan announced Monday in North Carolina is intended to restrict PFAS from being released into the environment, accelerate cleanup of PFAS-contaminated sites such as military bases and increase investments in research.