SACRAMENTO – Today, Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D – Santa Monica) and Senator Allen (D – Santa Monica) introduced Assembly Bill 2247, which, for the first time in state law, will require persons to inform the State when bringing PFAS-containing products or substances into California.
PFAS, or perfluorinated or polyfluorinated substances, are a class of approximately 9000 toxic man-made chemicals that can be found in many products, such as nonstick cookware, water repellent clothing, furniture and carpet, and household products, as well as a myriad of industrial materials. Exposure to PFAS has been associated with a wide range of health concerns, including cancer, reproductive harm, high cholesterol, and reduced immune response and vaccine effectiveness.
When released into the environment, PFAS do not breakdown, but rather, they persist and are often referred to as “forever chemicals.” Because of their ubiquitous use, PFAS are now found in water, soil, foods, animals, as well as in humans. Disturbingly, these toxins have also been identified in drinking water sources serving over 16 million Californians.
Despite these concerns about PFAS, the state does not collect data on how much PFAS is entering the state and in what form. As a result, California decision-makers, regulators and impacted agencies, such as water and sanitation systems, cannot adequately manage the chemicals and prevent further human or environmental exposure.
“PFAS are harmful to the health and wellbeing of all Californians,” remarked Assemblymember Bloom. “It’s unconscionable that PFAS are polluting our drinking water systems and impacting some of our most vulnerable communities.”
“These toxic chemicals live forever in our water, our food, and our bodies,” said Senator Ben Allen (D – Santa Monica), who chairs the Legislative Environmental Caucus. “We must understand where the pollutants are coming from if we can hope to reduce their harmful effects.”
AB 2247 would require anyone bringing PFAS into California, either via consumer products or industrial materials, report those products and the amount of PFAS they contain to a publicly accessible database. The bill further instructs the Department of Toxic Substances Control to work with the Interstate Chemicals Clearinghouse to create and maintain that database platform.
“Wastewater agencies are proactively looking for solutions to limit the amount of PFAS from entering our watersheds,” said Adam Link, Executive Director of the California Association of Sanitation Agencies. “We need to have data about the sources of PFAS entering our waterways in order to make informed management decisions. AB 2247 is an important first step toward the end-goal of developing a comprehensive PFAS pollution prevention approach and we applaud Assemblymember Bloom for introducing this important bill.”
“When virtually every Californian has toxic PFAS in their body, babies are born with them, and the chemicals are detected in water systems serving 16 million people, we cannot continue to be in the dark about where these chemicals are coming from and how they enter the environment,” Clean Water Action added. “We are grateful to Assemblymember Bloom, for authoring this bill which will provide regulators, water agencies, elected officials, consumers, and businesses with the data needed to best manage these forever chemicals.”
“PFAS contamination is a public health crisis and it is long past time that we turned off the tap on PFAS pollution,” Environmental Working Group said, “We are thrilled that Assemblymember Bloom is authoring this bill to reveal the sources of PFAS contamination in California. We must learn where PFAS contamination is coming from to prevent additional “forever chemicals” from getting into our water, food and air. Recent studies show that exposure to PFAS even at very low levels can cause serious health issues.”
“AB 2247 will help us accurately identify how much PFAS is coming into the State of California. Giving the State the authority to collect this data will enable us to explore how best to mitigate its harmful impacts. Without this information, we cannot take meaningful steps toward protecting the health of Californians and our environment in the long-term,” Assemblymember Bloom concluded.
AB 2247 is sponsored by the California Association of Sanitation Agencies, Clean Water Action and Environmental Working Group.
Richard Bloom is the Chair of Budget Subcommittee 3 on Climate Crisis, Resources, Energy, and Transportation . He represents California’s 50th Assembly District, which comprises the communities of Agoura Hills, Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Hollywood, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica, Topanga, West Hollywood, and West Los Angeles.