Tests that are less able to detect cancer-causing chemicals in water would replace Los Alamos National Laboratory’s current, more acute testing under a regulatory change the U.S. Department of Energy is proposing.

The federal agency is using New Mexico’s three-year review of surface water rules to push for a test that’s more limited in detecting polychlorinated biphenyls — PCBs for short — and to adjust state regulations to accommodate this method.

Environmentalists and state regulators oppose the less stringent testing for PCBs, which medical research has shown can cause cancer, impair children’s brain development, hurt reproductive systems, and increase the chance of heart and liver diseases.



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