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White House, North Carolina laying out plans to clean up chemicals in water

PFAs, otherwise known as "forever chemicals" can be found in almost everything. They're also leaking into our water and have been linked to serious health issues.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The White House and North Carolina are both laying out plans to clean up chemicals in our water. 

Specifically, they're looking to remove pre- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, otherwise known as PFAs. They're frequently called "forever chemicals" and you can find them in everything from pizza boxes to nonstick pans. But they can also often end up leaking into our water system where they stay, you guessed it, forever. 

Let's connect the dots.  

That's a big deal because PFAs can put people at risk for a wide range of health problems. The EPA says these chemicals have been linked to everything from high cholesterol, to a suppressed immune system, infertility, and even some cancers. 

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We've seen the problem firsthand in North Carolina. Before becoming head of the EPA, Michael Regan worked to have PFAs removed from the Cape Fear River near Wilmington. 

A chemical plant was dumping them into that river for decades. So how do we get the chemicals out across the state? That's where this new plan comes in. 

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Public water systems are currently not required to test for PFAs. But now the EPA plans to update drinking water standards to include a PFA limit by the fall of 2023. The government is also creating rules to stop companies from dumping more of these chemicals into waterways. 

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