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Activists: Federal money to clean contaminated water in Alabama not enough


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has donated more than fifty-two million dollars to solve Alabama’s pollution problems. The list includes PFAS, which is used in the creation of consumer products like Teflon and Scotchguard. Environmental activists say it’s not enough. Experts say *PFAS which are also known as Forever Chemicals are found everywhere they have tested in Alabama waterways. The chemicals are toxic and associated with serious health problems like kidney cancer. Nelson Brooke is the Black Warrior Riverkeeper. He says the funding is not the only solution to clean contaminated water.

“While there might be an effort to fund work to get it out of working drinking water systems, there is still a lot of work that is not being done, that needs to be done, to shut down the producers of these chemicals and to get these chemicals out of circulation in the myriad of different consumer products that are being sold on the market to people today,” said Brooke

Brooke also points out that Forever Chemicals are widespread across the country because they have been produced and spread for at least seventy or eighty years. He says says shutting down the producers of these chemicals to get the chemicals out of circulation would also be the better option over money.

“There is a 52.6 million dollar from the EPA that Adams, our state regulatory agency, has to address PFAS in drinking water,” insists Brooke. “But basically, I think they are going to be giving out grants to water system across the state to help them figure out how to remove these contaminates from their water supplies.”

NPR reported last year how The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry said exposure to PFAS may lead to higher risk for kidney or testicular cancer, increased cholesterol levels, and damage to the liver and immune system. Additionally, a study published in the journal Hypertension found that PFAS can lead to high blood pressure in middle-aged women.

Valentina Mora is a student intern at the Alabama Public Radio newsroom. She is an international student from Colombia at The University of Alabama. She is majoring in Communicative Disorders and Foreign Languages and Literature. She is part of the Blount Scholars Program and is also pursuing a minor in Music. Although she is not studying to become a journalist, Valentina enjoys reporting, interviewing and writing stories.
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