PFBS Toxicity Assessment

On April 8, 2021, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) posted the revised report “Human Health Toxicity Values for Perfluorobutane Sulfonic Acid and Related Compound Potassium Perfluorobutane Sulfonate.”  A copy of the revised PFBS Toxicity Assessment and two EPA Fact Sheets are here (PFBS Tox Assessment_Final_April 2021 PFBS_Final Tox Assessment_Tech Fact Sheet_2021-04-08 PFBS_Final_Tox Assessment_Fact Sheet__2021-04-08 ).

Text from EPA’s Press Release:

“The assessment released today has gone through all appropriate reviews, includes input EPA received from external peer review, upholds the tenets of scientific integrity, was authored by expert career scientists in EPA’s Office of Research and Development, and has not been compromised by political staff – these were all issues with a version of the assessment that was posted during the previous administration.”

EPA Press Release:

https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-releases-updated-pfbs-toxicity-assessment-after-rigorous-scientific-review-0

Background: On January 19, 2021 the initial version of the PFBS toxicity assessment was posted on the final day of the previous administration.  On January 27, 2021 President Biden issued a memorandum “Restoring Trust in Government Through Scientific Integrity and Evidence-Based Policy.”  On February 9, 2021 EPA removed the toxicity assessment for PFBS (perfluorobutanesulfonic acid) from its website.

The paragraph below is copied from the EPA’s posted statement when the PFBS toxicity assessment was removed:

“Science is the backbone of EPA and allows the agency to effectively pursue its mission to protect public health and the environment,” said senior career scientist Dr. Jennifer Orme-Zavaleta, Acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Research and Development and the agency’s Acting Science Advisor. “Issuing documents, like the PFBS Toxicity Assessment, that include conclusions purporting to reflect science when in fact they are the product of biased political interference undermines the agency’s scientific integrity policy and erodes the trust that the American public has in EPA, the quality of our science, and our ability to protect their health and the environment.”

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About Dan Askenaizer

Dr. Askenaizer leads WQTS’ work on regulatory compliance support for many of our water agencies clients. Dr. Askenaizer tracks water quality and treatment regulations at the Federal and State levels and provides regulatory updates to our clients. Dr. Askenaizer has strong expertise in the development of Regulatory Monitoring and Compliance Plans (RMCPs), which he has completed for a number of water agencies. He has also been working on a number of projects dealing with the development of distribution system monitoring plans and review of nitrification control strategies. Prior to joining WQTS, Dr. Askenaizer was the Water Quality Manager for the Glendale Water and Power. Under his leadership, the Water Quality Group conducted a demonstration-scale study of chlorite for nitrification control and a pilot-scale study of biological treatment for removal of nitrate. Dan has 30 years of experience working on projects dealing with regulatory, water quality and public health issues. Dan has given numerous presentations at workshops and round-tables across the country for water utilities. Dan was instrumental in developing and implementing a Mentoring Program for water staff and was involved in a Sustainable Development team.