New York Bans PFAS in Food Packaging

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Today, the New York legislature passed S. 8817 (Hoylman et al.) / A. 4739-C (Fahy), a bill to prohibit the use of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) substances from food packaging. The bill passed 116-25 in the Assembly and 49-11 in the Senate. The law will take effect on December 31, 2022.

PFAS, which scientists call “forever chemicals”, is neither naturally-occurring nor biodegradable, remaining in the environment – and in living things -- in perpetuity. It can cause the human body harm in a number of ways, including cancer, thyroid disease, birth defects, decreased sperm quality, immunotoxicity, and pregnancy-induced hypertension.

PFAS is widely used in food containers, cookware, garments, furniture, carpeting and more. Because PFAS are frequently used in hot takeout containers, they frequently transfer directly onto the food itself and are ingested. Compost contaminated with packaging with PFAS is unusable. A report by the Environmental Working Group estimates that nearly two million New Yorkers consume tap water contaminated with PFAS daily.



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