Toxic chemical pollution threatens the environment and people in communities around the world. The Toxics Program addresses national, regional, state, local, and international issues. Reducing exposure to hazardous substances protects families and wildlife, and improves our water quality and neighborhoods. A top priority is the reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). For almost 40 years environmental organizations have struggled to reform this weak and ineffective national law. It has addressed few chemicals and remains unenforced. As a result, thousands of untested chemicals enter the marketplace without regulation or warning labels.
The drinking water of more than 15 million Americans has been found to contain PFAS, highly toxic fluorinated chemicals, at concentrations of concern. These chemicals are persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic to people and animals. Fire-fighting training activities at airports and military bases are a major source of water contamination, as well as uses in manufacturing water and stain-resistant fabrics and food packaging. The pollution is now global with contamination documented in the people and animals of the remote Arctic.
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