Water Systems in California Contaminated

A report done by the Environment Working Group reveals contaminants were detected in 74 water sources that serve over 7 million residents of California.

What We Know:

  • The water has been tainted with PFAS chemicals. PFAS is short for perfluoroalky and polyfluoroalkyl substances and includes chemicals known as PFOS, PFOA and GenX. These are synthetic chemicals that are present in the environment and unfortunately our bodies.
  • The US Environmental Protection Agency states that studies have shown high concentrations of PFOA and PFOS can cause increased cholesterol levels in humans, along with immune system issues, thyroid problems and even cancer.
  • The findings do not represent the level of toxins residents are experiencing at the moment, but are sharing the extent of the effect these chemicals have.
  • The EPA issues drinking water advisories when PFAS levels are at or above 70 parts per trillion. More than 40 percent of the systems studied had at least one sample with levels of total PFAS higher than that amount.

  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law, to go into effect in 2020, allowing the state board to order public water systems to monitor for PFAS chemicals and requiring community water systems to report detections.

The full list of chemicals detected can be found here.