The 'war' over PFAS forever chemicals: Pentagon says banning toxins would ... trends now
The Pentagon has warned that broad bans aimed at stripping out harmful chemicals from everyday items could threaten US national security.
Regulators across the country are proposing bans on PFAS chemicals - sometimes known as 'forever chemicals' - that are found in thousands of products and have been linked to cancer and infertility.
The Department of Defense (DoD) depends on thousands of weapons and products like uniforms, batteries and microelectronics that contain PFAS, it said.
In a report quietly submitted to Congress in August, the DoD said: 'Losing access to PFAS due to overly broad regulations or severe market contractions would greatly impact national security and DoD's ability to fulfill its mission.'
PFAS chemicals are used in coatings for uniforms to make them water-repellent, in brake fluid for airplanes and helicopters, in wire and cable insulation in submarines, and in missiles to improve the performance and stability of explosives
The report added that the chemicals were 'critically important' for maintaining technology and items that ensure 'military readiness and sustainment.'
Microelectronic chips, lithium-ion batteries, helicopters, torpedoes and tanks all contain PFAS chemicals, as well as shoes, tents and duffel bags.
PFAS, or per- and polyfluorinated substances, are man-made chemicals that are present in swathes of everyday items, as they make things nonstick, waterproof and oil-resistant.