Heard on Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson

Rep. Debbie Dingell Pushes for National PFAS Regulation

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Image credit: Jake Neher/WDET

Rep. Debbie Dingell says people need to understand what products PFAS are used in, and how the chemical has gotten into the bloodstreams of countless Americans.

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PFAS, or Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, is a group of chemicals that are known to cause cancer, pregnancy and fertility complications, and other health problems, and the “forever chemicals” are wreaking havoc on the environment.

It’s known as a forever chemical; you can’t destroy it. It accumulates in your blood. So 98% of the people listening … this morning, have it in their blood.” —Rep. Debbie Dingell (MI-12)

Despite the danger these chemicals pose, there are no national standards to deal with them.


Listen: Rep. Debbie Dingell discusses her PFAS bill, the eviction moratorium and the infrastructure deal.


Guest

Rep. Debbie Dingell is a Democrat representing Michigan’s 12th Congressional District, and recently the House of Representatives passed her bill to set national standards for the two most common chemicals for PFAS.

Most people had never heard of PFAS a decade ago,” Dingell says. “We don’t understand the scientific data is there. We know that PFAS can cause autoimmune diseases, it can cause infertility and a number of other very serious health effects.” There is a number of places where the chemicals can be, such as in firefighting foam, makeup and Teflon pans. “It’s known as a forever chemical; you can’t destroy it. It accumulates in your blood. So 98% of the people listening … have it in their blood,” Dingell says. 

Dingell says more consumers are becoming educated about what they buy and whether the product has PFAS, but she would like to see a product label for PFAS. “A lot of people would just like to know the product they’re buying has PFAS in it, so getting a product label so people know that PFAS are in them, that’s also important.” 

Dingell also notes the new and more limited CDC-imposed eviction moratorium that will be in place until early October. Dingell wants the money given to states from Congress to start being allocated to renters and landlords. Dingell points out that only $3 billion of the $47 billion given has actually been distributed. “Some of the states aren’t trying to do anything and every state needs to. And Democratic states with Democratic governors, quite frankly, they have just as many challenges,” she says. “So this isn’t a partisan thing; we need to get this practice simplified.” 

According to Dingell, Wayne County is not covered by the eviction moratorium because the Centers for Disease Control considers the COVID-19 caseload to be moderate. 

Web story written by Dan Netter

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