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New bill aimed at helping PFAS exposure victims access medical monitoring

The man-made chemicals have been linked to cancer and reproductive harm among other health concerns.

Members of Congress on Thursday introduced an act that they say would make medical monitoring accessible for victims of significant exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS.

The man-made chemicals are used in a variety of industries and have contaminated drinking water for millions in the U.S. It's been linked to cancer and reproductive harm among other health concerns. 

Democratic U.S. Representative Dan Kildee, of Flint, is one of the lawmakers behind the PFAS Accountability Act, which in part could allow victims of exposure to receive monitoring paid for by the polluter. 

"It is long past time that we hold polluters accountable," Kildee said during a press call. "This legislation would hold responsible PFAS manufactures accountable, making it easier for victims of PFAS exposure to take legal action against these polluters."

Along with Kildee, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Pa.) introduced the bicameral legislation alongside advocates. The bill would also allow courts to "force manufacturers to fund research on the health effects of PFAS." 

The Environmental Working Group has identified over 2,300 sites in 49 states where there is PFAS contamination, and estimates that over 2,500 manufacturers may be releasing PFAS into the air and water. 

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