Trump administration blocks study on chemical pollutants in drinking water

Recently released emails show that the Trump administration blocked the release of a public health study on water pollution near military bases and chemical plants earlier this year to avoid a “public relations nightmare.” The study, conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, concluded that far lower levels of certain chemicals within drinking water endanger human health than those levels currently considered safe by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The researchers looked at a class of contaminants called PFOA (think Teflon) and PFOS, which are suspected carcinogens and persist in the environment and human bodies for long periods of time. “The public, media, and Congressional reaction to these numbers is going to be huge,” one email says. Months later, the study remains unpublished with no set release date. The move has been called “brazenly political” by former EPA officials and is yet another example of the agency sidelining of independent environmental science. Looks like that public relations nightmare wasn’t quite avoided—just delayed .

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