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Letter to Local Leaders Bringing Awareness to PFAS Pollution

Photo by Stel Bailey

Dear Commissioner, 

I am writing to you today to sound the alarm about PFAS pollution which is an urgent public health crisis. PFAS pollution comes from many sources, including firefighting foam, industrial discharges into the air and water, and consumer products like cookware, food packaging, and cosmetics. 

PFAS chemicals pose serious health risks, including cancer, reproductive harm, developmental delays, and harm to the immune system. As many as 110 million Americans could have PFAS in their drinking water, and we know that 13 Brevard County schools tested positive for PFBA in the drinking water.

Perfluorobutyrate (PFBA) is a four-carbon compact in the perfluoroalkyl family of chemicals. It is a breakdown product of stain and grease-proof coatings applied to various consumer products. It can also be detected in water systems as a result of human industrial waste streams. PFBA can result in acute effects, including changes in blood chemistry, hepatotoxicity, and thyroid dysfunction. Decreased hemoglobin and increased liver weight, and changes in the thyroid gland. Thyroid gland dysfunction can lead to hormonal imbalance thereby disrupting an organism's metabolism. 

States are taking steps to address PFAS pollution, but unfortunately, Florida hasn't taken any steps yet. Brevard County communities would like to request that you take the lead in protecting the health of residents.

I am asking you to please advocate for the end PFAS uses and releases (like PFAS in fire-fighting foam), monitor and report on the scope of PFAS pollution, and to accelerate efforts to clean up PFAS contamination. It is important that we should find out where PFAS chemicals are coming from and warn neighboring communities of the potential exposure, find out where PFAS chemicals already are, stop approving new PFAS chemicals (an estimated 5,000 PFAS chemicals are in use), stop adding more PFAS chemicals to the environment, add PFAS to the Superfund cleanup law classifying it as a hazardous substance, set an enforceable limit of PFAS in tap water, direct the military to quickly clean up contaminated bases, make polluters pay their fair share since companies who manufactured these chemicals knew the risks to human health but failed to protect nearby communities. We ask for your formal support to better protect the health of communities, visitors, and employees who frequent our area. 

Thank you,

Stel Bailey

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