In 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency, despite its own “grave concerns about toxicity,” approved chemicals believed to cause cancer and birth defects for use in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, according to documents obtained by The New York Times. The chemicals, which can break down into substances known as PFAS, are used to ease the flow of oil from the ground and were approved despite the Obama-era agency’s own concerns about safety. According to the documents obtained by the Times, the EPA believed the chemicals should have been tested but there’s no evidence that it was carried out as those recommendations were not mandatory. The Biden administration has sought to create a rule that would require manufacturers to disclose more information about PFAS. The chemical poses health risks to people or animals who live near or downstream from bodies of water where drilling was conducted, as well as oil, fracking, and emergency workers.
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