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Hoosick Falls, NY, had contaminated water supply by the chemical PFOA. Photo: Mike Groll / AP

The Environmental Protection Agency worked with U.S. manufacturers to begin phasing out synthetic chemical perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in 2006, which has prevented between 10,000 and 17,000 babies being born underweight, according to a new study per The Washington Post.

Why it matters: The chemical, used in things like pizza boxes and stain-resistant carpets, was found in general population blood serum tests 99% of the time from 1999 to 2012, per WaPo. By cutting the chemical's use, and therefore reducing the number of babies born underweight, the head of the study Leonardo Trasande said there are also "billions of avoided societal costs," since low-weight newborns required additional medical care.

But: PFOA, and a similar chemical PFOS, are still found in millions of products used in the U.S., per the Post.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Hospital crisis deepens as holiday season nears.
  2. Vaccine: Moderna to file for FDA emergency use authorizationVaccinating rural America won't be easy — Being last in the vaccine queue is young people's next big COVID test.
  3. Politics: Bipartisan group of senators seeks stimulus dealChuck Grassley returns to Senate after recovering from COVID-19.
  4. States: Cuomo orders emergency hospital protocols as COVID capacity dwindles.
  5. Economy: Wall Street wonders how bad economy has to get for Congress to act.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: The state of play of the top vaccines.
2 hours ago - Health

First blood test to help diagnose Alzheimer's goes public

Photo: Jerry Naunheim Jr./C2N Diagnostics via AP

A non-COVID medical breakthrough: People over 60 now have access to a blood test for Alzheimer's disease.

Why it matters: The existing PET brain scan test costs some people about $5,000 and often isn't covered by insurance, AP reports.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Wisconsin, Arizona certify Biden's victories

Photo: Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Arizona and Wisconsin officials confirmed the presidential election results in their states, formalizing President-elect Joe Biden's victories in the key battlegrounds.

Why it matters: The moves deal yet another blow to President Trump's efforts to block or delay certification in key swing states that he lost.