The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, commonly referred to as Proposition 65, requires the Governor to publish a list of chemicals "known to the State to cause cancer, birth defects, or reproductive harm " It also requires California businesses to warn the public quarterly of potential exposures to these chemicals which result from their operations.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company uses chemicals in its operations that are "known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects, or reproductive harm."
For example, PG&E; uses fossil fuels (natural gas and petroleum products) in its operations. The combustion of fossil fuels can generate by-products such as carbon monoxide, soot, and formlaldhyde. These chemicals are "known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects, or reproductive harm." Use of natural gas in home or commercial appliances can also produce these combustion by-products. Properly operating gas appliances create less carbon monoxide and soot.
PG&E; conducts sandblasting at power plants and compressor stations, which can release sand. Sand naturally contains crystalline silica, a chemical "known to the State of California to cause cancer"
Natural gas, in its original state, contains radon and benzene, chemicals "known to the State of California to cause cancer." It also contains toluene, a chemical "known to the State of California to cause reproductive harm." The benzene and toluene are destroyed when natural gas is burned. Radon does not burn but is released with the combustion by-products. Radon and natural gas combustion by-products can generally be removed through appliance vents and other exhaust systems.
A warning odorant is added to natural gas so that leaks of unburned gas can be quickly detected. If gas odor is detected, PG&E; should be contacted promptly.
PG&E; provides a free service to check and adjust your home gas appliances. Please call your local PG&E; office if you would like your gas appliances checked.
For additional information on this Proposition 65 warning, write to PG&E; at PO. Box 7640, San Francisco, CA 94120.
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