On May 18, Vermont Governor Phil Scott signed legislation into law that would effectively prohibit the sale of certain products containing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The legislation will ban these “Forever Chemicals” from food packaging, ski wax, firefighting foams, carpets, rugs, and aftermarket stain and water-resistant treatments.
This legislation goes into effect on July 1, 2021. Firefighting foam manufacturer will be required to stop producing, distributing, and selling products containing PFAS by no later than July 1, 2022. Similar constraints on manufacturers of food packaging, rugs, carpets (as well as related treatment products), and ski wax must be followed by July 1, 2023.
View the bill here.
The ban comes after a landmark study found elevated levels of PFAS in all samples of US women's breast milk that were tested. The samples tested had PFAS levels nearly 2,000 times higher
than the safe amount in drinking water recommended by public health advocates.
The Move to Phase PFAS Out of Food Packaging
Several other State and local governments have begun the process of phasing out PFAS and other potentially harmful chemicals from food packaging. Maine and Washington
are expected to begin statewide phaseouts of PFAS in food packaging on January 1, 2022. On December 3, 2020, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill prohibiting PFAS in food packaging, to take effect in 2023.
Congresswoman Debbie Dingell introduced Federal legislation to ban PFAS in food packaging in 2019.
Many retailers have also taken steps to eliminate potentially harmful chemicals from their products. At least eighteen food retailers
have announced plans to reduce or eliminate PFAS from food packaging, including Amazon Kitchen, Chipotle, Trade Joe’s, and Whole Foods Market.
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