SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Today the California Assembly handily passed a bill that would ban the manufacturing and sale of artificial turf containing the toxic “forever chemicals” known as PFAS.
Assembly Bill 1423 was introduced by Assemblymember Pilar Schiavo (D-Santa Clarita) and is sponsored by the Environmental Working Group. The bill now heads to the Senate, and if approved, the ban will go into effect one year after being signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom.
“We are encouraged that lawmakers in the Assembly took a step forward in preventing exposure to dangerous PFAS ‘forever chemicals’ in the artificial turf that youth and athletes play on every day,” said Bill Allayaud, EWG’s vice president of government affairs in California.
“As A.B. 1423 heads to the Senate, we hope that lawmakers will continue to take responsibility for eliminating PFAS from our communities,” he said.
Artificial turf has long been a source of concern for scientists, athletes and parents because of the many chemicals used in its production. Tests have shown essentially all turf contains PFAS, called “forever chemicals” because they do not break down in the environment and they build up in our blood and organs. They are among the most persistent toxic compounds in existence.
Although absorption of PFAS through skin is probably not a major route of exposure, inhalation of PFAS-laden dust is. Experts are also concerned about PFAS in turf after its disposal, when the PFAS may run off and enter groundwater or surface water, possibly polluting drinking water.
Some PFAS have been linked to a higher risk of harm to the immune system, reduced vaccine efficacy; harm to development and the reproductive system, such as reduced birth weight and impacts on fertility; increased risk of certain cancers, like breast cancer; and effects on metabolism, such as changes in cholesterol and weight gain.
California joins Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont in introducing bills to ban PFAS in turf. This bill would be a major step toward protecting the health of Californians, especially children who play on artificial turf.
A.B. 1423 follows a pattern of California enacting protective policies to limit public exposure to health-harming PFAS. These laws include the landmark A.B. 2771, which bans the sale in the state of cosmetics that contain PFAS. Newsom signed it into law last year.
The Environmental Working Group is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that empowers people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. Through research, advocacy and unique education tools, EWG drives consumer choice and civic action. Visit www.ewg.org for more information.