Downey water contaminated with chemicals, Assemblywoman says

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DOWNEY - Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) will provide a legislative report to inform the public about the dangers of polyfluoroakyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water this week, including an update in recent legislation established to combat the issue.

PFAS Chemicals – also known as “forever chemicals” – are good at repelling oil and water, making them useful in products such as non-stick cookware, fast food wrappers, pizza boxes, water-repellant fabrics, and fire fighting foam. However, they are also extremely resistant to breaking down naturally in the environment.

According to Garcia, a cluster of contaminated sites was located all throughout the 58th Assembly District, including in Downey.

“When you look at where there was testing and detections in LA County, almost every single detection popped up in my district,” said Garcia. “We can’t say for sure it’s aerospace, but we have feelings that’s probably what it is.”

Garcia added that the contamination is often found around air ports, military bases, aerospace, and medical plating.

It is currently unknown how severe or widespread the contamination exists.

Garcia introduced legislation – AB 756 – that requires all public water systems to monitor the class of PFAS chemicals found in their systems and subsequently inform consumers. It was signed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom late last month.

The Assemblywoman will update constituents on the issue at Bell Garden’s High School on Thursday, Aug. 29 from 5:30 to 8:30 pm at Bell Gardens High School.

For questions, contact Rida Hamida at (562) 861-5803 or