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Policy

Chemicals, Estrogens Targeted In Water

by Cheryl Hogue
September 28, 2009 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 87, ISSUE 39

Pharmaceutical estrogens, pesticides, and two major perfluorinated compounds are among the 104 chemicals EPA listed last week for possible regulation in drinking water. This marks the first time the agency will consider pharmaceuticals for potential regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act, an EPA spokeswoman tells C&EN. The Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America, an industry trade group, offered no comment on EPA's action before C&EN went to press. Several pharmaceutical estrogens made the agency's "contaminant candidate list," as did the antibiotic erythromycin. EPA compiles lists of contaminants known or anticipated to be found in public water systems as a first step toward possible regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act. EPA says it will continue to collect and evaluate data on the 104 chemicals and determine by 2013 whether to propose drinking water standards for at least five of them. In addition to the pharmaceuticals, listed substances include the fumigant methyl bromide, methyl tert-butyl ether, hydrochlorofluorocarbon-22, perfluorooctane sulfonic acid, and perfluorooctanoic acid.

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