Journalists, members of Congress, environmental and public health advocates, and water experts are all calling on the Trump administration to "immediately" release the report.
'Fearing a "public relations nightmare," President Donald Trump's White House and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), under the reign of administrator Scott Pruitt, blocked the release of a major water contamination story, according to emails obtained by the Union of Concerned Scientists and reported on by Politico.
News of the Trump administration's interference with a federal study on "a nationwide water-contamination crisis" infuriated reporters, politicians, experts, and advocates for public health and the environment. Friends of the Earth tweeted, "Scott Pruitt is more worried about journalists than poisoning millions of Americans."
"There's a lot of bleak news today, but this is important," journalist Mariah Blake said Monday, pointing to the Politico report.
There’s a lot of bleak news today, but this is important. The White House & Pruitt’s EPA are blocking release of a federal study about the dire health effects of a class of chemicals that pollutes 10-plus million American’s drinking water. #pfoa #pfas https://t.co/iL7nZGfpho
— Mariah Blake (@MariahCBlake) May 14, 2018
The chemicals that were under review are PFOA and PFOS, which, as Politico notes, "have long been used in products like Teflon and firefighting foam"—as well as by the Department of Defense, when it conducts exercises at U.S. bases—despite the fact that they "have been linked with thyroid defects, problems in pregnancy, and certain cancers, even at low levels of exposure."
The study, conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), reportedly shows that these chemicals are dangerous to human health at far lower levels than previously known or diclosed by the EPA, and have "contaminated water supplies near military bases, chemical plants, and other sites from New York to Michigan to West Virginia."'
Read more: At Pruitt’s EPA, Stricter Limits to Protect Americans from Toxic Fluorinated Chemicals are ‘Nightmare’