A bill that will prohibit the use of PFAS chemicals in consumer products also passed through the legislature this year, S.20. This is a monumental achievement, which reflects years of hard work on behalf of Democrats since 2016 when PFAS chemicals, also known as “forever chemicals” because they do not biodegrade in the environment, were found to contaminate drinking water in Bennington and North Bennington. This exposure leads to a number of adverse health effects, including an increased risk of cancer, however, research has also shown that exposure to PFAS is not limited to the residents of Bennington, because these chemicals are used in many consumer products.
Rather than limiting solutions to water clean-up, S.20 addresses this issue by prohibiting the use of PFAS chemicals in the first place. S.20 prohibits the manufacture and sale of PFAS from four products that pose the highest risks to Vermonters’ well-being, including food packaging, fire extinguisher foam and firefighting PPE, rugs and carpets, and ski wax. This legislation takes comprehensive steps to protect Vermonters from toxic chemicals, and protects our environment from further pollution.