Portantino Introduces Legislation to Study Health Impacts of Microplastics in Drinking Water

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Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D – Burbank) introduced SB 1147, a measure that will require the study of the health impacts of microplastics in drinking water.

“SB 1147 is an important public health measure that will increase the safety of drinking water,” stated Senator Portantino. “Microplastics have been identified in rain, drinking water, soil, and air. That’s why more research and action is necessary to understand how to deal with their impact on our health.”

In 2018, there was an average of 325 pieces of microplastics identified in a liter of bottled water.

SB 1147 would require the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) to study the health impacts of microplastics in drinking water, including bottled water, in order to identify safe and unsafe levels of microplastics. The bill would also require that public health standards and goals be developed and delivered to the state board by January 1, 2026. In addition, SB 1147 would require the California State Water Board to adopt and implement those public health standards and goals by January 1, 2028, and to provide those public health standards and goals to local water agencies.

SB 1147 would also require the state board to establish testing and reporting requirements for an annual testing of microplastics in bottled water sold in or into California.

“Research is increasingly showing that the rapid growth of microplastics presents an existential threat to human health and the environment,” Nick Lapis, Director of Advocacy for Californians Against Waste. “This measure builds on the pioneering work of Senator Portantino’s SB 1422 and SB 1263 to go beyond testing and planning to actually adopt protective standards for the water we drink, and it can’t come fast enough.”