Newsom signs laws banning ‘chemicals forever’ in children’s products and food packaging

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Governor of California Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomLA Schools Offering Gift Cards, ‘Hamilton’ Tickets to Student Immunizations Balance / Sustainability – Presented by Southern Company – Indigenous Solar Startups See Business as Activism Billions at stake in the fight for the future gambling in California PLUS (D) on Tuesday signed two laws banning the use of toxic “forever chemicals” in children’s products and disposable food packaging, as well as a set of bills to overhaul the recycling operations of the State, his office announced that evening.

“California’s hallmark is solving problems through innovation, and we are harnessing that spirit to reduce the waste filling our landfills and generating harmful pollutants that are causing the climate crisis,” Newsom said in a statement. hurry.

The pollutants at the origin of the first two laws are perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a group of toxic compounds linked to kidney, liver, immunological, developmental and reproductive problems. These so-called perennial chemicals are best known for contaminating waterways via fire-fighting foam, but they are also key ingredients in a range of household products like non-stick pans, toys, makeup, containers. fast food and waterproof clothing.

One of the laws, introduced by Congresswoman Laura Friedman (D), prohibits the use of PFAS in children’s products, such as car seats and cribs, effective July 1, 2023, according to the office of the governor.

“As a mother, it’s hard for me to think of a higher priority than the safety and well-being of my child,” Friedman said in a press release from the Environmental Working Group (EWG). “PFAS has been linked to serious health problems, including hormonal disturbances, kidney and liver damage, thyroid disease, and immune system disturbances.

“This new law puts an end to the use of PFAS in products intended for our children,” she added.

Bill Allayaud, director of government affairs for EWG in California, praised Newsom “for giving parents confidence that the products they buy for their children are free from toxic PFAS.”

“It is encouraging that for this legislation, the chemical industry has joined with consumer advocates to create a reasonable solution, as public awareness increases the health risks posed by exposure to PFAS,” he said. he said in a statement.

Since the PFAS coating on car seats and infant bedding fades over time, toxins can end up in dust that children might inhale, according to the EWG.

Second PFAS Law, proposed by MP Philip Ting (D), bans PFAS intentionally added to food packaging and requires kitchenware manufacturers to disclose the presence of PFAS and other chemicals on products and labels online – effective January 1, 2023.

“PFAS chemicals have been a hidden threat to our health for far too long,” Ting said in a second press release from the EWG. “I applaud the governor for signing my bill, which allows us to target, as well as limit, some of the harmful toxins that come into contact with our food.”

Despite the widely recognized risks of exposure to PFAS, the Environmental Protection Agency has only established “health advisory levels” for the two most well-known compounds rather than regulating the more than 5,000 types of PFAS. States like California have therefore begun to enact small pieces of legislation themselves. Although the House passed a bill in July that would require the EPA to set standards, the accompanying legislation has yet to reach the Senate.

“This law provides momentum in the fight against non-essential uses of PFAS,” David Andrews, senior scientist at the EWG, said in a statement. “California has joined in the effort to protect Americans family and friends from toxic chemicals forever.”

On recycling, Newsom has signed a law banning the use of deceptive recycling labels, as well as legislation designed to educate consumers and hold the industry accountable. The recycling bills are used to supplement a portion of $ 270 million of the state budget that will go towards modernizing recycling systems and promoting a circular economy, according to his office.

Other measures in the recycling program include provisions to discourage the export of plastic that becomes waste, greater flexibility for operations at beverage container recycling centers, and labeling requirements to ensure that products designated as “compostable” are truly compostable.

“With today’s action and bold investments to transform our recycling systems, the state continues to pave the way for a more sustainable and resilient future for the planet and all of our communities,” Newsom said .


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