Bill Memo: Banning PFAS in Anti-Fogging Sprays and Wipes

2 Tree: Substantial benefit rating

Summary

This bill amends the Environmental Conservation Law to prohibit the sale and distribution of PFAS chemicals in anti-fogging sprays and wipes. This bill would ban the entire class of PFAS chemicals from anti-fogging sprays and wipes used in New York State and would take effect on December 31st, 2025.

Explanation

This legislation bans the sale and distribution of anti-fogging sprays and wipes containing perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), provides for product labeling, and sets violations that are punishable by civil penalty, and would take effect by the end of 2025. PFAS substances are ubiquitous in our homes and environment – used in a variety of products from clothing, furniture, cookware, carpets, food packaging, and, even in cosmetics and personal care products.

PFAS chemicals are known as “forever chemicals” because they do not naturally break down and accumulate in the human body and the environment. The dangers that PFAS chemicals pose to human health are 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.

A new study conducted by Duke University found that many top-rated anti-fogging sprays and wipes used to prevent condensation on eyeglasses contain high levels of PFAS chemicals. Anti-fogging sprays and wipes are a key place to look for PFAS chemicals, including fluorotelomer alcohols (FTOHs) and fluorotelomer ethoxylates (FTEOs). Current research suggests that FTOHs inhaled or absorbed through the skin can break down in the body and become toxic and long-lasting. Masks cause eyeglasses to fog up at a rapid rate, so people have been using these products more frequently during the pandemic, raising serious health concerns. Mothers and young children may be especially vulnerable to these chemicals, which can affect reproductive and developmental health. These chemicals can also cause water contamination from disposal.

Download PDF

Environmental Advocates NY Bill Rating: Substantial Benefit

Memo #: 13