Feinstein Statement on PFAS Contamination in California Drinking Water

 Washington October 15, 2019 – Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement on widespread contamination of California drinking water reported in the Los Angeles Times:

            “With reports that 300 wells throughout California are contaminated with toxic chemicals linked to cancer and other health issues, it’s clear the state and federal government, and in particular the Defense Department, must step up and address this problem.

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            “These chemicals, used in firefighting foam, clothing and household goods, have seeped into drinking water in dozens of communities up and down California, often near military bases. A study by the Los Angeles Times found these chemicals  – perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, collectively known as PFAS – in 86 water systems throughout the state.

            “The CDC has linked PFAS exposure to liver damage, high cholesterol, thyroid disease and increased risk of asthma. California’s Office of Health Hazard Assessment found links between a type of PFAS and pancreatic and liver cancers. The bottom line is that this is a dangerous chemical that has no place in our drinking water.

            “Now that we know these water sources are contaminated, two things need to be done. First, we need to end the use of these chemicals that we know are linked to health problems. And second, we need to ensure that federal cleanup efforts by the Defense Department are thorough and leave behind clean, uncontaminated drinking water.

            “The Senate and House are currently negotiating the National Defense Authorization Act. We need to ensure the final bill bans the use of these dangerous chemicals and fully funds the cleanup of contaminated water sources. If necessary I plan on introducing additional legislation to prohibit any use of PFAS tied to health problems.”