Face masks emerge as flashpoint in PFAS debate

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“Republicans opposing measures aiming to crack down on “forever chemicals” are pointing to the presence of the toxic substances in face masks worn to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 to bolster their arguments against advancing legislation.

“The line that we can’t regulate PFAS as hazardous waste under CERCLA or under RCRA because they’re used in masks and gowns, those are two completely separate issues,” said Tim Whitehouse, executive director of the group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. “It’s propaganda.””

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