There are Harmful Chemicals in our drinking water. But how did they get there?

  • Posted on 22 August 2019
  • By Krystal Ruiz
Our homes should be a place where we can seek comfort and security, but with the rise of harmful chemicals, such as PFAS and other related contaminants appearing in our water and household products, it can be difficult to rest easy. According to Yvonne Watson, Chair of the Environmental Justice Committee, traces of these toxic designer chemicals known as PFAS have been discovered in our drinking water throughout the suburban areas of Los Angeles and Orange County, specifically targeting areas where lower-income families reside.
You may be wondering, what exactly is PFAS? According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), PFAS is an acronym for (Poly) and Perfluorooctanoic acid substances; man-made chemicals that can be found in a variety of products such as Teflon, 3M’s Scotchgard, fabrics for furniture, fire extinguishing foams and now, our drinking water. But how did they get there? Unfortunately, the PFAS chemicals are engineered to persist in the environment and have the ability to stick to anything, including water, making it no easy task to get rid of them with a store-bought water filter.
Older PFAS chemicals and their effects were once well known, but today, newer chemicals are being produced in China and are not being regulated. Not only does this cause more than 16 million Americans to consume PFAS contaminated water, but it puts millions of people at risk of major health problems. More specifically, PFAS has been linked to cancer, thyroid problems, reproductive damage and impairments to child development.
The Sierra Club was first involved with the PFAS crisis when the city of Paramount was having air quality issues involving Hexavalent Chromium 6. Most companies that were responsible for the bad air quality decided PFAS was an acceptable alternative for the issue, but it turned out to be just as harmful, if not worse. We need the public to speak out and take action against these harmful chemicals in order to protect the health of the community and the environment. 

If you are interested in learning more about PFAS, come the screening of The Devil We Know; a documentary about a group of citizens who challenged a powerful corporation to be more environmentally responsible.

WHEN: Thursday, August 29th at 5:30-8 PM
WHERE: Bell Gardens High School Auditorium
6119 Agra St, Bell Gardens, CA 90201
Free Popcorn, Drinks and Resources. First Come, First Serve
Sponsored by The Angeles Chapter

Reserve your space by registering here.
*Remember to enter Sierra Club as your organization on the registration form*

An information booth will be available for people to seek advice and ask questions about how to become involved in the PFAS crisis and take action in their community.

Be eyes and ears in your community and join us in making a change! 

Header photo by Raj Patel 
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