LOS ANGELES, June 12, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Nonprofit organization the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) sent legal notices to five metal plating facilities in Los Angeles County today after discovering that these companies are discharging toxic PFAS chemicals, also called "forever chemicals," into groundwater.
CEH is partnering with local water advocates to fight for the health of people working and living near the facilities and across the state. One water advocate, Martha Camacho Rodriguez, is a resident of Downey, California, and a former high school teacher in Compton, who has known about the related local PFAS contamination of specific water wells in Southeast LA for four years.
"I'm a consumer and I know that if I go to the grocery store and buy something that's not ok, I can take it back and get a refund. When something is unhealthy or dirty, there are consequences -- but here we aren't seeing any consequences," said Camacho Rodriguez.
PFAS chemicals are associated with the development of cancers, diseases in multiple organ systems, and immune deficiencies. Even exposure at very low levels can increase the chance of adverse health outcomes in people.
"Indigenous communities and communities of color have for centuries brought attention to the importance of our collective waters and how they contribute to healthy and thriving ecosystems and people," said Kaya Allan Sugerman, Director of Illegal Toxic Threats at CEH. "State and federal agencies must treat these toxic chemical exposure issues like our lives depend upon it, because they do."
This news comes just weeks after legal notices were sent to three facilities in the Bay Area and Vacaville, where PFAS are being discharged into the groundwater beneath the facilities at levels exceeding the EPA's proposed drinking water limit by over 100 times. In California, all groundwater is classified as a potential source of drinking water by the State Water Board.
Under Proposition 65, California's Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, facilities cannot discharge hazardous chemicals known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive harm, into known sources of drinking water. CEH seeks to require these facilities to eliminate the source of PFAS and clean up their operations.
The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) is a 27-year-old organization leading the nationwide effort to protect people from toxic chemicals by working with communities, consumers, workers, government, and the private sector to demand and support business practices that are safe for public health and the environment.
SOURCE Center for Environmental Health
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