Toxic-Free Food Packaging

Environmental Advocates Support this Bill

Explanation: 

This legislation bans the use of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in food packaging, taking much-needed action to prevent these harmful toxins from leaching into and poisoning our food.

The dangers that PFAS chemicals pose to human health is well-known. According to the EPA, exposure to PFOA and PFOS, the most studied PFAS chemicals, has been linked to high rates of thyroid disease, immune suppression, and reduced fertility.[1] PFOA and PFOS have already caused devastating water contamination crises in New York communities like Hoosick Falls, Petersburgh, and Newburgh.

PFAS chemicals are used as a grease-repellant in paperboard and food wrappers, and can migrate from the packaging onto the food. Once ingested, PFAS chemicals can persist in the body for as long as eight years. Due to the serious threat these chemicals pose to public health, they do not belong anywhere near our food. Washington State has already banned the use of these chemicals in food packaging, and New York should follow suit.

 

[1] EPA, Drinking Water Health Advisory for Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA), (May 2016), available at https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-05/documents/pfoa_health_advisory_final-plain.pdf; EPA, Drinking Water Health Advisory for Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS), (May 2016), available at https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-05/documents/pfos_health_advisory_final_508.pdf

 

Summary: 

This bill amends section 37-0203 of the Environmental Conservation Law by banning the manufacture, selling, and distribution of food packaging where PFAS chemicals are present in any amount.

Memo #: 

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