We must turn off the tap first (PFAS)

The recent news that Cambridge’s water is polluted by PFAS is tragic but not surprising. Unfortunately, Cambridge is just the most recent city among more than 80 communities across the Commonwealth to learn its public water system is contaminated with PFAS.

Clean water

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The recent news that Cambridge’s water is polluted by PFAS is tragic but not surprising.

Unfortunately, Cambridge is just the most recent city among more than 80 communities across the Commonwealth to learn its public water system is contaminated with PFAS.

Massachusetts should follow the lead of neighboring states including Maine, New York, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Connecticut in banning and/or restricting these toxic chemicals in consumer products, food packaging, outdoor and firefighting gear, and personal care products. As we keep making, using, and discarding things with PFAS, the chemicals build up in our environment, our drinking water, and our bodies.

Eliminating PFAS won’t be easy, but Massachusetts needs to act. We need to identify and clean up existing pollution. We need to care for those affected. And we need to hold polluters accountable for the affiliated costs. That said, these efforts will be moot if we don’t stop PFAS contamination at the source. To stop a bathtub from overflowing, you don’t start by scooping out buckets of water. You turn off the faucet first.

We can’t afford any delay.

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Legislative Director

Deirdre Cummings

Legislative Director, MASSPIRG

Deirdre runs MASSPIRG’s public health, consumer protection and tax and budget programs. Deirdre has led campaigns to improve public records law and require all state spending to be transparent and available on an easy-to-use website, close $400 million in corporate tax loopholes, protect the state’s retail sales laws to reduce overcharges and preserve price disclosures, reduce costs of health insurance and prescription drugs, and more. Deirdre also oversees a Consumer Action Center in Weymouth, Mass., which has mediated 17,000 complaints and returned $4 million to Massachusetts consumers since 1989. Deirdre currently resides in Maynard, Mass., with her family. Over the years she has visited all but one of the state's 351 towns — Gosnold.

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