SACRAMENT – California lawmakers approved legislation banning the use of the “eternal chemicals” known as PFAS in paper-based food packaging and requiring disclosure of toxic substances in cookware, sending the bill to Governor Gavin Newsom for his signature.
Bill AB 1200, known as the California Safer Food Packaging and Cookware Act of 2021 and drafted by Assembly Member Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), will protect consumers and the environment from PFAS and other harmful chemicals in:
- Ban on paper-based food packaging using PFAS chemicals from January 1, 2023
- Require manufacturers of kitchen utensils as of January 1, 2024 to disclose the presence of chemicals in their products that are of concern to human health or the environment
- Ban on misleading advertising on kitchen utensil packaging from January 1, 2023
Cosponsors of the legislation include Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, the Center for Environmental Health, Clean Water Action, the Environmental Working Group, and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
“Most people don’t realize that there are PFAS in everyday items, including food packaging. PFAS is a major global public health problem. It is imperative to stop making the problem worse and to eliminate the use of PFAS whenever possible, ”said Avinash Kar, Director of State Health Policy for the NRDC. “This bill will do just that by banning the unnecessary use of PFAS in paper-based food packaging.”
PFAS are widely used in paper-based food packaging made from plant fibers, such as cardboard, for their water and grease resistance properties. Examples of food packaging often containing PFAS include paper packaging, liners, bags, pouches, tableware (plates, bowls, trays), and molded fiber take-out containers. Chemicals can migrate from the packaging into our food, contaminate the soil when the packaging is composted, and pose contamination risks to water supply systems when the material is landfilled.
Eliminating these toxic chemicals will help protect the workers who make these products, the consumers who use them, the communities living near their production or disposal, and the vulnerable populations already bearing a disproportionate burden of environmental pollution.
“PFAS chemicals should not be used in materials that touch our food as they persist in the environment and the human body, and have been linked to cancer, hormonal disruptions, organ damage and other diseases. serious and may interfere with the vaccine response, “said Sue Chiang, Director of Pollution Prevention for the Center for Environmental Health. “The Center for Environmental Health has spent 25 years protecting people from toxic chemicals and is proud to co-sponsor AB1200 to help create a healthier world for all of us. ”
The bill also requires cookware manufacturers to disclose chemicals of concern, such as PFAS and bisphenol A, or BPA, and other substances on the California Department of Toxic’s chemical candidate list. Substances Control, if added to either surfaces that come into contact with food. or drink or handfuls. The disclosure is to be available online from January 1, 2023 and January 1, 2024, on the product label.
“Consumers are increasingly asking for information about the chemicals in their products. Breast cancer survivors and new moms work very hard to avoid chemicals that could contribute to a recurrence of cancer or harm their children’s development, ”said Nancy Buermeyer, Senior Policy Strategist for Breast Cancer Prevention Partners. “This groundbreaking bill will help consumers make informed purchasing decisions and avoid harmful chemicals. We are counting on Governor Newsom to protect the health of all Californians by signing AB 1200. ”
“Consumers have for too long been kept in the dark about PFAS and other chemicals in their cookware that could get into their food, and they are often misled about the safety of cooking products. AB 1200 will impose a first-ever requirement for cookware manufacturers to disclose harmful chemicals in the surface coatings of pots, pans and other products, and the bill will reduce the use of false safety claims on foodstuffs. packaging ”, declared Susan Little, Senior Counsel for the Environmental Working Group.
The bill will also set deadlines from January 1, 2023 to ban misleading advertising on kitchen utensils, such as claims that a product is free of a specific hazardous chemical when other chemicals of the same. class are present. Claims like these can mislead buyers into believing that a product is free from problematic chemicals. For example, casseroles that claim to be “PFOA free” often contain other harmful PFAS chemicals like PTFE.
“What’s insidious about PFAS is that we are not only exposed using products that contain them, but we are re-exposed when these chemicals enter our water, air, soil and crops.” , said Andria Ventura, Legislative and Policy Director at Clean Water Action. “Since food packaging is a major source of waste in water and can contaminate compost, our precious water and food resources are at risk. This is why the AB 1200 is so important.
The AB 1200 is now going to Governor Newsom’s office for action by October 10.
NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international non-profit environmental organization with over 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world’s natural resources, public health and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT and Beijing.
Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.
Partners for breast cancer prevention (BCPP) is the leading national science, policy and advocacy organization focused on breast cancer prevention in eliminate our exposure to toxic chemicals and radiation. Through scientific translation, education, legislative advocacy and corporate empowerment campaigns, BCPP occupies a unique niche in the world. link environmental health, women health and prevention of breast cancer. Visit us at www.bcpp.org and follow us on Twitter @BCPPartners
Environmental health center (CEH) is a 25-year organization leading the national effort to protect people from toxic chemicals. CEH protects people from toxic chemicals by working with communities, consumers, workers, government and the private sector to demand and support business practices that are safe for public health and the environment. Learn more about www.CEH.org and follow us on Twitter at @CenterEnvHealth
Clean Water Action (CWA) is a national organization founded during the campaign for the passage of the historic Clean Water Act in 1972. With offices in the nation’s capital and 12 states, CWA’s mission is to protect our environment, our health, our economy well-being and the quality of life of the community by organizing strong grassroots groups and coalitions, and campaigns to elect environmental candidates and to solve environmental and community problems. To learn more about what CWA is doing nationally and in states nationwide, visit www.cleanwateraction.org. And follow us in CA at @ cleanh2oca
The environmental working group is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that empowers people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. Through unique research, advocacy and education tools, EWG drives consumer choice and civic action. Visit www.ewg.org and follow we at @ewg to Twitter.