At high levels, PFAS chemicals can lead to reproductive problems, certain cancers and increased cholesterol.
Michigan Rep Elissa Slotkin has asked her colleagues to do more when it comes to eradicating harmful chemicals from her community.
Slotkin testified at the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Environment in March to push for funding to test for PFAS chemicals, which are often found in non-stick cookware and other household goods.
In high levels, PFAS can be dangerous to human health. According to the Environmental Working Group, PFAS contamination can lead to reproductive problems, certain cancers and increased cholesterol, among other issues. Slotkin introduced and recently passed the PFAS Monitoring Act, which makes PFAS testing in drinking water mandatory through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for large cities. Under the legislation, smaller communities would get money for the monitoring from the federal government.
In her testimony, Slotkin explained to the committee in charge of doling out funding just how important it is that small communities get the testing money.
“Today I ask the committee to increase funding for the 2021 fiscal year for the EPA and to keep in mind the concerns of families in my district, across Michigan and across the nation. PFAS is a widespread concern and these chemicals are forever chemicals, they are not going away. We must work to protect Americans against this threat just as we protect them from threats to our physical security,” she said in her testimony.
Slotkin went on to explain that her previous work as a CIA officer and Pentagon official have helped her see the danger in PFAS chemicals.
“I look at the world through a lens of security,” Slotkin said in her testimony. “And that is why it is really very clear to me that we need to start thinking of environmental security the way we think of homeland security because it’s about the safety of our kids and the preservation of our way of life.”