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Maine task force to review prevalence of toxic chemicals

March 6, 2019

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A new Maine task force will review the prevalence of highly toxic chemicals linked to health threats ranging from cancer to decreased fertility.

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills said Wednesday it’s up to states to take the lead examining chemicals known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS.

Mills’ executive order creates a task force charged with exploring how Maine can reduce contamination risks.

The EPA has announced plans to place legal limits on the chemicals but hasn’t yet done so.

The compounds have long been used in consumer products including cookware, outdoor clothing, dental floss and food containers. Military bases also deploy firefighting foam containing PFAS to battle jet-fuel fires.

In Maine, PFAS has been detected at the former Brunswick Naval Air Station and the former Loring Air Force Base.