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EPA Science Matters: December 4, 2018

EPA announced an updated and validated way to test for four additional per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water, including GenX. The update to EPA Method 537, which was first published in 2009, is part of EPA’s efforts to increase the amount of research and information that is publicly available for chemicals in the PFAS family.

During the summer of 2013, some 60 atmospheric scientists converged in Alabama, Tennessee, and North Carolina to study everything they could about the physical and chemical interactions of many pollutants in the atmosphere. This collaborative field project, supported by EPA, NOAA, and the National Science Foundation, generated more than 111 published papers, providing a wealth of data and findings that have been made available to the public and an improved understanding of aerosol processes in the southeastern U.S.

Harmful algal blooms—the overgrowth of algae in water—are a major problem across the nation. They can cause severe, negative impacts on aquatic ecosystems, the economy, and human health. EPA is working with Chemehuevi and Colorado River Indian Tribes to evaluate the effectiveness of using man-made floating vegetated islands to reduce the occurrences of these blooms in water within the tribes’ reservations.

Do you know an innovator in green chemistry? EPA is looking for nominations for the 2019 Green Chemistry Challenge Awards. The awards recognize companies or institutions that have developed a new process or product helping to protect public health and the environment. Nominations are due by January 15, 2019.

More than 60% of Navajo households use wood stoves for heat. The stoves are often very old, inefficient, and poorly vented, leading to high levels of indoor and outdoor air pollution and increased risk of fires. To combat these issues, EPA and partners have researched and designed a comprehensive stove replacement and home weatherization program that meets the needs of the Navajo Nation.