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PFAS toxins found in drinking water throughout Southern California
Wells of nearly two dozen Southern California water agencies have reportable levels of PFAS, a chemical family increasingly linked to cancer, liver and kidney damage, thyroid disease, high cholesterol, low fertility, low birth weight and ulcerative colitis.
Seven of those agencies have shut down wells in the past year because of the presence of those chemicals and two more plan closures, an investigation by the Southern California News Group found.
The state only this year began ordering testing for the chemicals, and a state law requiring that customers be notified about the presence of those chemicals won’t kick in until next year.
The substances are dubbed “forever chemicals” because they resist breaking down in nature.
“PFAS is the climate change of toxic chemicals,” said Andria Ventura, toxics program manager for the advocacy group Clean Water Action. “They never go away. Virtually all Americans have them in their blood. Babies are born with them. … They’re some of the scariest things I’ve worked on.”