On July 31, California became the first state to require that water suppliers notify consumers of the presence of per- and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals in the local water supply.
PFAS chemicals, which are found in items like food wrappers and nonstick cookware, have been shown to cause negative health impacts like immune system dysfunction, hormonal changes and cancer. The chemicals are also commonly found in firefighting foam and on military bases.
The new bill mandates that public water systems across the state of California must monitor their water supplies for PFAS chemicals and alert customers within 30 days if the levels exceed safe amounts.
Currently, a safe amount of PFAS contamination is considered less than 70 parts per trillion in the US, but researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health believe that number could be up to 1,000 times too high.