Read the full article by Rick Karlin (Albany Times Union)
“ALBANY — In what may be the latest battlefront over potentially toxic PFAS chemicals in the environment, the state Legislature has approved a bill that would ban using the substances in food packaging.
PFAS’s, or poly and perfluorooctanoic acids, are associated with health problems such as thyroid disorders and cancers. Discovery of the chemicals in the village of Hoosick Falls’ water supply several years ago prompted emergency measures followed by a planned rebuilding of the municipal system.
There also has been a move to ban PFAS incineration amid worries about emissions such as those coming from the Cohoes’ Norlite aggregate plant, which had been burning firefighting foam made with the substance.
PFAS substances, which are known for their sturdy chemical makeup, have long been used in food packaging such as bags for pastries and popcorn as well as pizza boxes.
With that in mind, bills to ban PFAS used in food containers that were sponsored by Manhattan Sen. Brad Hoylman and Albany Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy, both Democrats, were approved by lawmakers last week.
It isn’t yet clear if Gov. Andrew Cuomo will sign the bill.
PFAS have been used in food containers due to their ability to resist grease, which might otherwise saturate the bag or box in question.
Environmentalists, though, say there are alternatives for this.
Passage of the measure was hailed by environmentalists who viewed it as a public health measure.
‘New Yorkers shouldn’t have to worry about being exposed to harmful chemicals from handling everyday items like pizza boxes or milk cartons. Getting PFAS out of our food supply is a no-brainer,’ said Rich Schrader, New York Policy Director at the Natural Resources Defense Council…”