In 2021, the CT General Assembly passed a bill that restricts toxic PFAS from consumer packaging and fire fighting foam after a similar bill died due to no action in 2019. SB 827 is a big win for public health and environmental health in our state!
WHAT ARE PFAS?
PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are manmade chemicals used in consumer goods, also known as "forever chemicals" because they do not easily break down. Instead, they migrate from packaging and consumer products into our household dust and air, accumulating in our bodies over time. They can also build up in crops, livestock, fish, and game, contaminating the food we eat as well as the water we drink.
"PFAS" is an umbrella term that includes nearly 15,000 different chemicals, according to the EPA. A 2015 study estimated that 97 percent of Americans have PFAS in their blood.
Recent studies on laboratory animals by the International Agency for Research on Cancer have linked PFAS to:
increased risk of kidney cancer, testicular cancer and other cancers
reproductive disorders and infertility
developmental delays in children
PFAS mainly enters the human body through ingestion or inhalation. Negligible amounts of PFAS enter through skin contact.
The prevalence of PFAS in many household items and safety equipment has led to high levels of PFAS exposure. A Harvard study conducted from 2013-2015 determined the drinking water in6 million households in America were contaminated with PFAS at levels exceeding federal recommendations.
You can lower your risk of exposure to PFAS by using water filters, paying attention to any advisories about PFAS levels in drinking water, fish and game, and agricultural products, and avoiding products known to contain PFAS such as nonstick cookware, fast-food containers, microwave popcorn bags and some household cleaning products. For more information about avoiding PFAS, visit EWG's guide.