HARRISBURG – Sen. Gene Yaw (R-23) introduced legislation today that would ban per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in food packaging across Pennsylvania.
“Exposure to these chemicals is linked to many negative health outcomes, including cancer, liver damage, decreased fertility, asthma and thyroid disease,” Yaw said. “Eliminating PFAS in food packaging is a simple way to protect public health and the environment from further damage.”
PFAS use is widespread in many everyday products, from household cleaners to carpets to nonstick cookware. One of the most harmful exposures occurs when PFAS compounds used in packaging leech into our food.
A recent report from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests an exposure limit for one PFAS compound – of which more than 9,000 exist – should be roughly 10 times lower than the existing recommendation from the Environmental Protection Agency.
“PFAS lingers in soil, water, air and even our own blood streams,” Yaw said. “We can’t afford to ignore the dangerous effects of repeated exposure, especially when better alternatives exist.”
Specifically, Senate Bill 1351 prohibits the manufacturing, distribution, sale or offer for sale of any food packaging containing PFAS in any amount. It would also require manufacturers to post a certificate of compliance at the place of business to attest that the food packaging is in compliance with the requirements outlined in the legislation.
Yaw said the legislation, in companionship with Senate Bill 302 – which restricts firefighting foam containing PFAS – is a “meaningful step” to mitigate PFAS contamination.
CONTACT: Nick Troutman