As part of its 50th anniversary celebration, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is holding a month-long observance of its progress in conducting innovative research to protect human health and the environment.
“From the very beginning 50 years ago, the agency has been guided by scientific research,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic regional administrator Cosmo Servidio. “EPA research has provided the tools, data and knowledge needed to tackle the nation’s most pressing environmental challenges and built a firm foundation for decisions and policies that have protected the health of the American people.”
EPA’s Office of Research and Development is an integral part of the agency’s efforts to address current concerns. For example:
Evaluating SARS-CoV-2 in the Environment.
• EPA researchers are working on several efforts related to SARS-CoV-2 in the environment. Researchers at EPA and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are collaborating to develop and apply methods for measuring SARS-CoV-2 levels in wastewater. EPA researchers are also working with CDC to develop a simple, low cost, non-invasive antibody test using saliva samples. EPA researchers are studying anti-microbial products and application methods for long-lasting disinfection, as well as ways to disinfect large spaces. Additionally, researchers are evaluating methods of disinfecting personal protective equipment (PPE).
Researching chemicals such as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
• EPA is leading the national effort to understand PFAS and reduce PFAS risks to the public through implementation of its PFAS Action Plan and through active engagement and partnership with other federal agencies, states, tribes, industry groups, associations, local communities and the public. EPA researchers are developing methods to detect and quantify PFAS in environmental media; gathering and assessing data on chemical toxicity; and evaluating the effectiveness and the cost of different technologies for treating, removing and disposing of PFAS in drinking water and contaminated sites.