NEW YORK (AP) Federal regulators will take a more cautious approach to water filtration and the chemicals used to clean it, saying that there is not enough scientific evidence to justify the chemicals that are used.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s director, Scott Pruitt, announced Monday that the agency will not approve filters that contain more than 10 parts per billion of chlorpyrifos, a chemical known to cause cancer and birth defects.
Pruitt’s announcement was announced in response to a petition from environmental groups that asked the agency to reconsider its approval of a filter that the group called toxic.
A recent analysis by the Environmental Working Group and a coalition of water-filtering groups concluded that the filters used in most U.N. drinking water systems are highly toxic and could pose health risks.
The EWG and other groups argue that chlorpyrsofos, used in the filters, has been shown to increase cancer risk and cause birth defects and developmental problems.
Pulaski County’s water authority and other water providers say the EWG’s analysis was inaccurate, and that the EPA’s final determination is based on a more thorough review of the science.
Purdue University and other researchers have also criticized chlorpypyrifotopentaenoic acid, or PFTE, as a chemical used in some chlorprysofos filters.
The EPA is investigating whether PFTE could cause cancer, birth defects, developmental problems or other health problems.
The EPA has not yet made a final determination on PFTE’s safety or the health effects of PFTE in drinking water, according to the EPA.