Print this page

PFAS

Safer States is at the forefront of a state-driven national movement to combat exposures to PFAS chemicals. We coordinate a large and diverse coalition of advocates, policymakers, scientists, and representatives from the most impacted communities to influence public policy, corporate practices, and end-of-life management decisions on products containing these deadly chemicals. Our goal is to turn off the tap on over 3,000 chemicals in this class and ensure safe drinking water for all.

38 current policies in 11 states
10 adopted policies in 7 states
  • Current Policies
  • Adopted Policies
  • Both

What Are They?

Highly fluorinated chemicals, or PFAS, are prized by manufacturers for their grease- and water-proofing properties, and the chemical industry is constantly searching for new applications. While convenient, PFAS exposure causes liver and kidney cancer, decreased fertility, increase incidents of thyroid problems, and decrease immune response to vaccines in children.

Residents of the Ohio River Valley in West Virginia were systematically exposed to PFAS for several decades through intentional dumping of chemicals by DuPont while the company had knowledge of the health risks. Similar stories play out across the nation, such as 3M’s pollution of drinking water in Minnesota and high incidences of cancer resulting from fouled water in Hoosick Falls, NY.

We Eat Them

PFAS chemicals are extremely pervasive, appearing in the blood of 95% of people in the United States. One of the first avenues of PFAS exposure came from Teflon pans. PFAS now appears in produce grown in contaminated soil and is also widely used in food packaging as a grease-proofing agent. Hot food in takeout containers or fast food wrappers triggers the rapid release of PFAS chemicals and they leach into our food and our bodies.

We Drink Them

It is estimated that nearly one-third of Americans are drinking water that has been contaminated with PFAS, a number that is expected to rise as more drinking water systems are tested. Water is polluted through the use of firefighting foams containing PFAS, poor manufacturing practices, and from the repeated washing of clothing treated with PFAS.

We Breathe Them

PFAS are highly mobile. Walking on carpet containing PFAS or wearing treated clothing causes PFAS to become airborne and settle in dust which we then breathe.

What More is Needed

Our campaign has a number of recommendations for the federal government as well as actions that states and localities can take today to eliminate PFAS from our products and clean up existing pollution. Additionally, retailers and manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure that the products they sell are free from PFAS. Read more here (link to campaign platform)

Bill Tracker for PFAS

Current Policy

Adopted Policy