The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) is inviting public comments on provisional standards for the amount of organic fluorides in drinking water. The Informed-Public Project (IPP) representative Masami Kawamura is calling on the public to submit opinions to MHLW. “We want people to submit their thoughts, even if they are not perfectly worded,” says Kawamura. The deadline for submissions is March 8, 2020. MHLW is seeking comments on the target values for organic fluorides in tap water. The draft standards set a provisional target of 50 ng per 1 liter for PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate) and PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) combined. Comments may be submitted online or by mail or fax. Kawamura welcomed the government’s move to set standards but explained that there is a need to pay close attention to whether the target value is valid or a means to resolve the issue.
Kawamura said that if people do not understand the MHLW’s draft, they should not give up. Even comments and requests such as “I cannot understand it” or “I would like this [draft] to be explained in Okinawa” is fine, and that it is important to submit them. She urged people to call on their friends and family to submit comments. She also recommended saving the comments to send to the Okinawa prefectural government and Diet members. (Abridged)