Tell Alaska’s Federal Delegation More Action Is Needed to Resolve PFAS Drinking Water Crisis
Let’s thank Alaska’s U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan and Representative Don Young for the leadership they have shown so far in addressing the growing PFAS Drinking Water Crisis – and then remind them that there is much more work to be done.
More than a hundred million Americans are drinking water that contains unsafe levels of PFAS, including at least ten Alaskan communities, because the U.S. Environmental Protection Action won’t do its job. It’s time for Congress to step in to ensure that public health is protected and drinking water is safe.
Ask our federal delegation to establish enforceable, health-protective drinking water standards for the entire class of PFAS that use the latest scientific evidence:
Maximum contaminant levels for drinking water – There is no safe level of PFAS, so the maximum contaminant level should be set at zero. But at the very least, the MCL should be set at a combined limit of 2 parts per trillion (ppt) for PFOA, PFOS, PFNA, PFHxS, PFHxA, and PFBS, with a separate limit of 5 ppt for GenX, given that current technology is able to remove PFAS to that level.
Senator Lisa Murkowski
Anchorage (907) 271-3735
Washington DC (202) 224-6665
Senator Dan Sullivan
Anchorage (907) 271-5915
Washington DC (202) 224-3004
Congressman Don Young
Anchorage (907) 271-5978
Washington DC (202) 225-5765
Take Action to Protect Alaskan Drinking Water from PFAS Contamination!
Alaska SB 176 (Kiehl) and HB 240 (Hannan) are intended to address the emerging public health crisis caused by PFAS-contaminated drinking water in Alaska and first responders’ exposures to PFAS in firefighting foam. But the bills don’t go far enough to protect public health. We need your help to make sure the bills are amended to fix that.
What Are PFAS? Per- and poly fluoroalkyl substances are a class of nearly 5,000 chemicals. Their fluorine-carbon bond is virtually unbreakable. Their combination of toxicity at exceedingly low levels, extreme persistence, and high mobility in the environment create a significant threat to public health.
PFAS Are Associated with Serious Adverse Health Effects – Including kidney and testicular cancer, high cholesterol, thyroid disruption, ulcerative colitis, pregnancy-induced hypertension, and immune system impairment.
Changes Needed to SB 176/HB 240 to Ensure Alaskans’ Health Is Protected
Regulation as a Class – With similar chemical structures, shared toxicity levels, and similar health effects, the entire class should be regulated.
Maximum contaminant levels for drinking water – There is no safe level of PFAS, so the maximum contaminant level should be set at zero. At the very least, the MCL should be set at a combined limit of 2 parts per trillion (ppt) for PFOA, PFOS, PFNA, PFHxS, PFHxA, and PFBS, with a separate limit of 5 ppt for GenX, given that current technology is able to remove PFAS to that level.
Preventing further contamination of drinking water – The bills should ensure that future contamination is prevented by banning the use of firefighting foams that contain PFAS for either training exercises or emergency response.
Effective non-toxic alternatives exist – There are proven, effective, non-toxic alternatives already in use at major airports worldwide, including London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Copenhagen, Stuttgart and Dubai.
Please call the bills’ sponsors (Senator Kiehl and Rep. Hannan) and your legislators to ask them to include health-protective standards using the latest science and ban the use of PFAS in firefighting foam.
Find your legislators here (bottom right, “Who represents me?”) and click through to their contact info.
Please support the Toxic-Free Children’s Act (SB 151). This legislation will put in place a workable system to reduce our children’s exposure to toxic chemicals in baby and children’s products.
We want to be confident that the products we buy at the store do not contain toxics that were removed years ago. Under our current laws, this is impossible. Of the more than 84,000 registered chemicals in the U.S., less that 200 hundred have been evaluated for their safety before ending up in our shelves. Rates of childhood and other cancers, asthma, infertility, learning disabilities and more are on the rise. Scientific evidence links exposure to toxic chemicals to these negative health trends. Our families and health care system are already paying the costs of this broken system. We need a better approach to deal with this public health threat.
Ask our Senators for leadership to strengthen this legislation to:
- ensure that chemicals are safe before they end up in our everyday products and
- increase access to basic safety and health information
Dirty Coal is Making Us Sick – Be Part of the Cure: Mothers Against Mercury Petition
Mothers—and everyone who knows and loves a child–are keenly aware of the health effects of mercury. Mercury and related compounds are potent neurotoxins that can cause serious, long-term, adverse health effects in humans, especially young children. Mercury exposure causes developmental disorders in children, such as learning disabilities, mental retardation, cerebral palsy, and impaired memory and motor function; and also contributes to cardiovascular disease, psychiatric disturbance and suppressed immune systems in humans of all ages.
Alaskans’ health is threatened by widespread mercury pollution from increased coal combustion overseas, a result of exporting Alaska coal from proposed strip mines in the Chuitna Watershed and the Matanuska-Susitna Valley. Please add your name to the Mothers Against Mercury Petition.
Our coalition is working hand-in-hand with Mat-Su health professionals just like you to provide state agencies and the public with the best available science on public health risks associated with proposed coal mining projects in our valley. Add your name to the petition requesting a comprehensive Health Impact Assessment for Wishbone Hill and all future coal mines in Alaska. Sign on!
Previous Action Alerts
Improved regulations are necessary because wintertime PM-2.5 pollution in Fairbanks is a major health problem that urgently needs to be addressed. Scientific studies have linked PM-2.5 pollution to numerous health problems ranging from asthma to premature death in people with heart or lung disease. PM-2.5 is particularly dangerous to the children in our community. Recently, a new study demonstrated that early childhood exposure to PM-2.5 diminishes the development of a child’s lungs and immune system. Learn more.
ACAT et al. Comments on ADEC wood smoke regulations (January 24, 2014) Exhibits
Have you ever noticed tags (such as the one in the image to the left) on pillows, couches, chairs, and basically anything containing foam? Those tags and the toxic chemicals in that item were put there by a 1975 furniture flammability standard in California called Technical Bulletin 117. It became the de facto standard for much of our nation’s and even the world’s furniture industry and has been called “the law that polluted the world”. Take Action.
Take a moment – to look beneath your chair or cushion. Do you see a tag such as the image to the right on your furniture? If it is, the foam inside your chair likely contains toxic flame retardants because of this old law ‘TB117″. In fact, this technical standard has not significantly improved fire safety – smoke detectors and the changes made to cigarettes which cause them to smolder rather than ignite fabric have done that. In fact, it has been shown that once the fabric covering the foam ignites, the flame retardants cause worse fires by smoldering and creating toxic gas. Please comment.
The chemical industry fights every effort to strengthen the regulation of flame retardants in furniture. The Chicago Tribune has an entire investigative series exposing industry efforts to sabotage this work. Please Take Action.
Since the death of her newborn from exposure to pesticides 13 years ago, Sofía Gatica has been working tirelessly with other moms to hold Monsanto and Co. accountable for the harms they impose. She met with the White House in April to ask President Obama to hold Monsanto & Co accountable.
Sofía — winner of the 2012 Goldman Environmental Prize — hand delivered a letter to a top White House official, Ms. Nancy Sutley of the Council on Environmental Quality, urging the administration to investigate Monsanto’s “pesticide poisonings and livelihood harms” in her Argentine community, the U.S. and beyond. Urge the White House to respond.
State Proposes to Eliminate Public Voice in Decisions about Pesticide Spraying on State Public Lands and Rights of Way.
The Governor and the State Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) are proposing drastic changes to pesticide regulations that would weaken democratic participation in decisions that affect water quality, fish habitat, and public health.
Deadline: August 2, 2012, 5pm. ACAT’s comments submitted 8/2/12.
Dangerous toxic pesticides proposed to be sprayed along roads in Anchorage! Comment Today – it may be our last chance.
Deadline: July 21st, 2012
Deadline: June 30th, 2012
Spraying the proposed herbicide mixture threatens salmon streams, drinking water sources, berry-picking areas, farms and the Susitna Flats Game Refuge.
The proposed herbicide applications threaten human health. Glyphosate has been linked to certain cancers, endocrine, reproductive and developmental health effects in humans.
Deadline: June 14th, 2012
Tell the HIA Program that we deserve a Comprehensive Health Impact Assessment that fully evaluates health risks posed by an open pit coal mine in an Alaskan neighborhood.
Deadline: April 2012, end of Alaska legislative session
Update: At the end of the 2012 Session, after passing the Senate, this bill was held by the House Labor & Commerce Committee after hearing testimony by phone from a chemical industry front group. Please see the Chicago Tribune’s Watchdog Flames: an investigative report into the false testimony provided by paid chemical industry consultants. This testimony damaged legislative actions in several states on Safer Chemicals legislation. View Anchorage’s KTUU news story: Misleading Testimony May Have Influenced Lawmaking In Juneau.
Protect public health & prevent toxic exposures.
- Success! The Senate Finance Committee passed SB 27.
- Success! SB 27 passed the Senate and moves to the House.
Take action today to ask for support for this important legislation which will ban the import of products containing toxic flame retardant chemicals known as PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers). Read more.
Deadline: April 2012, end of Alaska legislative session
The Port MacKenzie Railroad Extension project will directly benefit coal transportation & resource extraction. Do you want to breathe the milions of pounds of coal dust blown from proposed coal stockpiles just a few miles from downtown Anchorage? Ask Senate Finance Committee to protect our health by removing funding for the Port MacKenzie rail extension project from the capital budget. Read more.
The Alaska Railroad Corporation proposes spraying herbicides along the railroad tracks, which directly threatens salmon streams, drinking water sources, berry-picking areas, farms and neighborhoods. This toxic herbicide mixture contains glyphosate and other chemicals known to harm human health. These chemicals are associated with birth defects, damage to DNA, reproductive and developmental toxicity, neurotoxicity, and cancer. Tell the DEC to deny all three of ARRC’s permit applications for herbicide use. Read more. Deadline: March 12, 2012, 4pm.
HB 63 “Preventing Toxic Exposures” is a bill that would ban the import of products containing harmful flame retardant chemicals known as PBDEs. Your support today for this important legislation will help Alaska join twelve other states that have banned toxic flame retardants to protect human health and the environment. Read more. Deadline: April 9, 2011
Triclosan is an antibacterial chemical widely used in consumer products including soaps, facial cleansers, toothpaste, cosmetics, deodorant and other personal care products. Now found in the bodies of 75% of the U.S. population, triclosan is linked to endocrine disruption, bacterial and antibiotic resistance, dioxin contamination, and contaminated fish and biosolids. While consumers might think triclosan can protect them from harmful bacteria, it turns out that the use of this dangerous chemical in household products is no more effective than soap and water – and may be doing more harm than good. Urge EPA to ban triclosan from consumer products. Read More. Triclosan Fact Sheet. Deadline: February 7, 2011
Coal ash, the waste remaining after coal is burned, contains some of the most dangerous toxics on the planet — and it’s leaching, leaking and spilling out of disposal sites across the nation. The EPA is currently considering proposals for coal ash regulations, and public input is encouraged. This is a great opportunity to have your voice heard on this important issue. Read more. Deadline: November 19, 2010