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Studies show forever chemicals are found in much of Canada's water. Have they impacted you?


With restrictions on water quality tightening in Canada and abroad, the safety of substances found in public drinking water is falling under renewed scrutiny.

This month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released new restrictions on certain kinds of forever chemicals, known scientifically as perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

Produced for decades for use in non-stick, waterproof and other products, forever chemicals do not easily break down in the environment. Research has drawn potential links between exposure to PFAS and serious health issues including low birth weight, cancer and liver disease.

Under the new U.S. regulations, public water providers must ensure that the forever chemicals perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) make up no more than four parts per trillion of the water supplied to their customers, part of a move the agency says it expects will "prevent thousands of deaths, and reduce tens of thousands of serious PFAS-attributable illnesses" over time.

In Canada, existing guidelines allow significantly more PFOA and PFOS in drinking water, with maximum limits 50 and 150 times higher, respectively, than the newly announced U.S. requirements.

Health Canada is currently considering a proposal to tighten those restrictions, with a new suggested limit of 30 parts per trillion for the sum of all PFAS detected in drinking water.

Have forever chemicals in water impacted your life? Have you been diagnosed with an illness or sustained property damage linked to impurities in your water supply, or have you been involved in a related class-action lawsuit?

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With files from Christl Dabu and CNN Top Stories

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