PROTECTING OUR PRISTINE GREEN MOUNTAIN STATE
The VT House today, on a unanimous roll call vote 145-0, gave preliminary approval to a comprehensive legislative package banning PFAS or “forever chemicals” in numerous consumer products, including rugs, carpets and waterproofing treatments.
Vermont is also set to become the first state in the nation to ban fluorine-based waxes used in Nordic ski racing; and follows Maine and New York in prohibiting food packaging with any PFAS-presence in direct food contact.
S.20 also does the following:
- Prohibits orthophthalates in food packaging.
- Gives the VT Department of Health rule-making authority to limit bisphenols in food packaging.
- Adds PFAS chemicals to the list of 86 “Chemicals of High Concern for Children.”
- Prohibits the use of PFAS-containing firefighting foam in all training or testing statewide.
- Prohibits the use of PFAS-containing firefighting foam with staggered deadlines based on facilities and airports transitioning to PFAS-free foam.
- Requires written disclosure of PFAS within firefighting Personal Protection Equipment.
- Allows Attorney General to seek remedies through the Consumer Protection Act if a manufacturer not in compliance.
There are more than 9,000 chemicals within the PFAS class. These “forever chemicals” do not biodegrade and some of them “bioaccumulate” in your body. They are associated with increased risks of cancer, as well as adverse health effects on the liver, endocrine system, immune system, and fetal development.
PFAS is found in groundwater and drinking water across the country; it is found in the runoff (or leachate) from active and abandoned landfills in Vermont as well as in every wastewater treatment facility in Vermont. Perhaps most concerning, PFAS can be found within the blood of almost everyone in the United States.
This class of chemicals has a huge inter-generational, and harmful hereditary effects. The House has planted the flag for safe drinking water; setting a breathtaking standard for protection.
I was thrilled by the vote: Rep. Peter Anthony, Barre City