Today California lawmakers advanced a bill to ban the toxic “forever chemicals” known as PFAS from household and institutional cleaners sold in the state. The bill cleared the Legislature and now heads to Gov. Gavin Newsom for his signature.
Assemblymember Dr. Akilah Weber (La Mesa-San Diego) authored Assembly Bill 727 to protect the health of consumers and workers from PFAS. They are known as forever chemicals because they don’t break down, and they pose a health risk to the millions of people exposed to them through cleaners and many other products.
If enacted, the ban would take effect on January 1, 2026, and make California the first state to ban PFAS from household and institutional cleaners. The bill also sets a January 1, 2028, deadline for banning PFAS from institutional floor finishes and sealers.
“It is alarming that these toxic substances contaminate our water,” said Weber. “The legislation I've introduced marks a substantial move to mitigate the detrimental impacts of PFAS, safeguarding the well-being of Californians and our environment. It is incumbent upon manufacturers to use PFAS alternatives in their cleaning product formulations.”
The Environmental Working Group and the California Association of Sanitation Agencies are sponsoring the legislation.
“Consumers should have peace of mind when using everyday household items like cleaning products,” said Susan Little, EWG’s senior advocate for California government affairs.
“The health harms of PFAS are widely documented. It’s high time we took immediate steps to eliminate these forever chemicals from our cleaners to protect our families, workers and communities,” she added.
Very low doses of PFAS in drinking water have been linked to the suppression of the immune system and are associated with an elevated risk of cancer, increased cholesterol, and reproductive and developmental harms, among other serious health concerns.
These chemicals are used in a wide range of consumer products, including cleaners, as well as personal care products, food packaging, textiles like waterproof clothing, and many others.
“We commend the Legislature for their passage of AB 727 and thank Assembly Member Weber for her leadership on this issue,” said Adam Link, executive director of the California Association of Sanitation Agencies. “This important bill will impose a source control policy that will keep PFAS chemicals out of our watersheds. It is critical to continue promoting policies that eliminate these chemicals from entering commerce to protect the environment and keep essential services affordable.”
PFAS are found in the blood of virtually everyone on Earth, including newborn babies. These chemicals are persistent and they build up in the environment and in the bodies of people and animals.
Even cleaning products advertised as “green” or “natural” may contain ingredients that can cause health problems. Manufacturers can use almost any ingredient they choose, including those known to cause cancer or pose other health or environmental hazards.
“For too long, companies have been allowed to use these dangerous chemicals in cleaning products without disclosing them to consumers,” said Samara Geller, EWG’s senior director of cleaning science. “Now consumers will soon have access to safer products.”
“By banning these chemicals from cleaning products, California is taking a significant step toward reducing exposure to PFAS while promoting cleaner living environments for all Californians,” said Geller.
About The Environmental Working Group
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) 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
The California Association of Sanitation Agencies represents more than 125 local public agencies engaged in the collection, treatment and recycling of wastewater and biosolids to protect public health and the environment. CASA provides trusted information and advocacy on behalf of California clean water agencies, and to be a leader in sustainability and utilization of renewable resources. For more information, visit https://casaweb.org.