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Environment

EPA Picks Chemicals, Microbes For Possible Regulation

February 25, 2008 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 86, ISSUE 8

EPA is scrutinizing 93 chemicals and 11 microbes for possible regulation as contaminants in drinking water. The chemicals on the draft Contaminant Candidate List released by the agency last week include a variety of pesticides and compounds formed from the breakdown of pesticides. Other compounds are perfluorooctanoic acid, used in making nonstick cookware; perchlorate, a component of rocket fuel; ethylene glycol, found in some antifreezes; the refrigerant HCFC-22; and methanol. No pharmaceuticals are listed. The draft list also includes the hepatitis A virus and six bacteria that cause gastrointestinal illness. The chemicals and microbes on the draft list are not regulated in drinking water but are known or anticipated to occur in public water systems. After the list is finalized, the agency will launch a detailed evaluation of the contaminants' occurrence in drinking water and their health effects. The draft list is available at www.epa.gov/safewater/ccl/ccl3.html.

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