Read the full article by Chloe Johnson (Star Tribune)

“Minnesota lawmakers are moving ahead on what would be one of the country’s most aggressive bans on ‘forever chemicals’ in consumer products, compounds that have become pervasive worldwide and are linked to several health effects.

In a hearing Thursday before the Senate’s environmental committee, senators heard emotional testimony from Amara Strande, a former student of Tartan High School in Oakdale. The school is in a large swath of the East Metro where residents for years unknowingly drank water contaminated with the chemicals, called PFAS.

Strande, 20, said she has a rare form of liver cancer that resulted in surgeries and finally a terminal diagnosis from her doctors. She can no longer lift her right arm and said tumors had cracked two of her ribs.

‘I have seen neighbors and friends who have also been affected by these toxic chemicals, and it’s time for action,’ Strande said.

Committee members approved a bill banning ‘nonessential’ PFAS in several home products, including cosmetics, dental floss and cookware, by 2025 and in all other uses by 2032. The legislation allows for exceptions in the case of ‘health, safety or the functioning of society.’

A slew of manufacturing groups, however, warned that the ban and other PFAS bills passed through the committee would be a challenge to enforce, given complex production processes. The breadth of industry represented showed how broadly the chemicals have penetrated consumer markets, covering carmakers, medical device sellers, appliance manufacturers, home products sellers and others.

Andrew Hackman, a lobbyist for the Juvenile Products Manufacturing Association, said the makers of cribs, bassinets and other products ‘are not intentionally adding PFAS chemicals, but we do have severely long supply chains.’

But bill author Sen. Kelly Morrison, DFL-Minnetonka, argued: ‘We must start by stopping these chemicals from entering the environment and our bodies in the first place.’

Lawmakers in both houses are considering bills that would set new rules for the chemicals. Besides the bill barring PFAS from consumer items, senators advanced one requiring companies to report the types and amounts of the chemicals in their products by spring of 2025, and another limiting the use of PFAS in firefighting foams by 2024.”…