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“The state of Michigan will substantially limit its purchase of products made with toxic PFAS chemicals following a directive by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer that environmental groups are calling a precedent-setting move.

The Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget (DTMB) must ‘incentivize suppliers to offer products that do not contain intentionally added PFAS by seeking to purchase such products where possible,’ the directive states.

The state, which buys $2.5 billion worth of goods annually, must vet procurement contracts for products made or packaged with PFAS and will require suppliers to disclose whether there are alternatives that do not contain the chemicals, according to the Oct. 27 directive.

Preference will go toward products made without PFAS and items that do contain the chemicals should only be bought if no alternatives are available.

Fluorinated chemicals are prized by industry for their ability to repel moisture, grease and heat, but the strength of their chemical bonds make them nearly impossible to destroy. They have become ubiquitous throughout the global environment. People exposed to PFAS have experienced a range of health problems.

In items bought by the state, the chemicals are commonly found in seating and office furniture, carpets and sanitary supplies, according to Whitmer’s office.

The directive took effect immediately.

‘PFAS are dangerous, man-made chemicals that pose a threat to our health,’ Whitmer said in a statement. ‘While this is a good step, we still have so much more to do to address these forever chemicals. We need to lead with science and work together to keep families safe and ensure Michigan continues leading the nation when it comes to protecting people from toxic contaminants.’

Environmental groups praised the directive. The Ann Arbor-based Ecology Center, which advocates for such policies, said the move sets a ‘national precedent’ among states due its broad application across all products, including packaging.

Connecticut, New York, Washington and Maine have procurement policies that restrict or prohibit purchase of food contact materials made with PFAS. New York’s policy also extends to flooring and furniture, according to the group.”…