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The Environmental Protection Agency has begun for the first time to regulate a class of synthetic chemicals known as “forever chemicals” in America’s drinking water.

Kim Tingley, a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, explains how these chemicals, which have been linked to liver disease and other serious health problems, came to be in the water supply — and in many more places.


  • Kim Tingley, a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine.

A single water drop drips from a faucet.
The federal government is ordering the removal of PFAS, a class of chemicals that poses serious health risks, from drinking water systems across the country.Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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