“The range of substances that are slowly coming to be more widely known as ‘forever chemicals’ are often used in the manufacturing of pizza boxes, candy wrappers, bakery bags and other food storage containers.
And even though per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, did not come into existence until around the 1940s, today, ‘virtually everyone on the planet has PFAS in their blood,’ Clean Water Action Senior Policy Advocate Laura Spark told lawmakers on Thursday.
‘As we continue to make and use PFAS, they continue to build up in our bodies and in the bodies of wildlife,’ Spark said at a Public Health Committee hearing.
Environmental and public health advocates urged the panel to advance legislation (H 2348, S 1494) that would ban the use of certain chemicals classified as PFAS in food packaging. Manufacturers opposed the bill as drafted, and recommended a later compliance deadline should the bill move forward.
Experts have known for about two decades that many forms of paper in food packaging have been treated with PFAS, which can leach out of bags and containers and into food itself, according to Clint Richmond of the Sierra Club.
Warning that use of the substances is ‘everywhere,’ Richmond said plastic packaging containing PFAS is often disposed of into trash or landfills, which ‘concentrates’ the chemicals’ potency.
‘We can’t have PFAS jeopardizing the health of consumers, creating toxic litter, contaminating recycling, polluting the air and contaminating drinking water and composting that could be used in agriculture,’ he said.”….