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The EPA is proposing that 'forever chemicals' be considered hazardous substances

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PFAS chemicals

The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing that nine PFAS, also known as "forever chemicals," be categorized as hazardous to human health.

The EPA signed a proposal Wednesday that would deem the chemicals "hazardous constituents" under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

For the agency to consider a substance a hazardous constituent, it has to be toxic or cause cancer, genetic mutation or the malformations of an embryo. The full list of the nine substances can be found here.

The agency cited various studies in which forever chemicals were found to cause a litany of "toxic effects" in humans and animals, including, but not limited to cancer, a decreased response to vaccinations, high cholesterol, decrease in fertility in women, preeclampsia, thyroid disorders and asthma, the EPA said.

Short for "per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances," PFAS cover thousands of man-made chemicals. PFAS are often used for manufacturing purposes, such as in nonstick cookware, adhesives, firefighting foam, turf and more.

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