A recent U.S. Geological Survey study reveals that tap water in southern and central California is more likely to contain harmful PFAS chemicals than in other regions.
These “forever chemicals” are found in items like nonstick cookware and fast food boxes. They don’t naturally degrade and can lead to health issues like high cholesterol, obesity, and certain cancers.
The study shows that nearly half of the U.S. drinking water might contain certain chemicals, predominantly in urban areas due to higher population and chemical sources like airports and industries. The presence of the chemicals is equally likely in private wells and public water supplies, raising alarm as private wells lack government regulation.
Concerns over PFAS chemicals have grown recently, leading to a $10.3 billion settlement by 3M for contaminating U.S. public drinking water.
In California, public water systems near landfills, airports, and military bases are required to be tested for PFAS chemicals. If found to be above specific levels, they must notify customers and address the contamination.
Jennifer Clary of the nonprofit Clean Water Action expressed concern over the study’s findings on the environmental impact of the chemicals. She advocates for an urgent approach to identify the presence of PFAS and calls for caution in production processes to prevent future issues.
More at the Los Angeles Times