The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) refused entry to multiple journalists Tuesday who were attempting to cover a summit on nationwide water contamination caused by the chemicals PFOA and PFOS, used in Teflon and fire-retardant foam.
UPDATED 06/21/18 04:49 P.M. PST: Results of the study have finally been released, and the news isn’t good. Read more →
One journalist, Ellen Knickmeyer of the Associated Press, was able to gain entry to the meeting.
Reporters who were barred from the meeting hailed from networks including CNN and E&E News.
The refusal to allow the journalists into the summit follows many similar decisions made by EPA head Scott Pruitt, who is facing a mounting number of scandals, including his decision to spend over $100,000 on first-class flight tickets, claiming that he had to be “near the front of the plane” due to “specific ongoing threats associated with Administrator Pruitt’s travel.”
Jahan Wilcox, spokesperson for the EPA, told the barred reporters that they had not been invited, and that there was no space for them, but declined to provide a specific reason for their exclusion.
During the meeting, Pruitt claimed that addressing widespread drinking-water contamination is a “national priority.”
The chemicals in question, perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl, have been linked to developmental defects, cancer, and other health problems.
In fact, cancer has become the number one cause of death for U.S. firefighters who spend inordinate amounts of time around the chemicals, which are used in fire-retardant foam, causing them to develop such cancers as oral, digestive, respiratory, and urinary cancers.
The Pentagon has identified 126 military bases where the surrounding water supplies have shown potentially harmful levels of these chemicals, and it is estimated that PFOA is now in the bloodstream of 99% of Americans, including infants.
The cherry on top?
The chemical is bio-resistant, which means that it won’t break down in your body over time.
To read Iron Triangle Press’ coverage of the EPA’s suppression of the study detailing the scope of the crisis, click here.