The Environmental Protection Agency has issued a warning about two chemical compounds found in drinking water, saying they can cause "serious health risks" even when they're at undetectable levels.
The compounds, called PFOA and PFOS, have been linked to cancer and reduced birth weight in babies, according to the EPA. They can found in a number of products, including tap water, cardboard boxes, carpets and firefighting foam, the agency reports.
This week, the EPA changed the health risk thresholds for PFOA and PFOS, lowering the maximum from 70 parts per trillion to nearly zero. "People on the front-lines of PFAS contamination have suffered for far too long," says EPA Administrator Michael Regan. "That's why EPA is taking aggressive action as part of a whole-of-government approach to prevent these chemicals from entering the environment and to help protect concerned families from this pervasive challenge."
Will it take years for cities across the U.S. to adapt to the new set of guidelines?