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PFAS Emerging Contaminant Response Could Learn Some Lessons From PCBs

Source:, November 23, 2020

PFAS compounds are not the first emerging contaminants to be addressed by environmental agencies, scientists, regulated entities, engineering consultants and lawyers. Chlorinated solvents, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), mercury, and other organic and inorganic substances have at one point or another been considered “emerging” from scientific and regulatory perspectives.

As a general matter, all of these substances were at the time of their development very effective for their designed uses. Overall, there were not concerns about these substances being potentially harmful contaminants in the environment until well after their manufacture, distribution and use for many years. While each of these potentially hazardous contaminants evolved differently, and have certain unique characteristics, there are nevertheless some lessons to be learned from this historical perspective as we address PFAS compounds as the latest emerging contaminants.  Read more.

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