As most states have now wrapped up their legislative sessions, we’ve found that states across the nation have adopted a range of innovative policies to combat toxic chemicals and incentivize the adoption of safer solutions. So far this year, 17 states have adopted at least 35 policies that help transform our economic system to better protect communities and create incentives for industry to develop safer chemicals and materials.
Outdoor athletic retailer Dick’s Sporting Goods quietly announced it will ban PFAS "forever chemicals"in its own-brand textile products. This action was part of a major update to its Restricted Substance List (RSL) created in March. The company is one of the largest sporting retailers in the nation, operating more than 850 stores and, as of 2022, earning $12.37 billion in sales.
PORTLAND, OR⸺Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed into law the first-ever ban in the U.S. on PFAS “forever chemicals” in cookware, dental floss, and menstrual products as part of the broadest PFAS policy package in the country. The new law bans all uses of PFAS in products by 2032—except those that are necessary for public health, requires manufacturers to report their use of PFAS in products to the state by 2026, and bans specific uses in several products starting in 2025.
Today, the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act (HB 1047)—sponsored by Washington State Representative Sharlett Mena (29th Legislative District)—was signed by Governor Inslee, making it the strongest law in the nation regulating cosmetics and personal care products.
Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced drinking water standards for six individual PFAS “forever chemicals” including PFOA, PFOS, PFNA, PFHxS, HFPO-DA (GenX), and PFBS. This is the first time that drinking water standards have been proposed for a new chemical under the Safe Drinking Water Act since it was updated in 1996.
Yesterday, leading outdoor retailer REI announced it will ban PFAS "forever chemicals" in all textile products and cookware from its suppliers, in a major update to its “Product Impact Standards” for its 1,000+ brand partners. REI’s new policy commitment comes more than a year after the launch of the nationwide marketplace campaign, REI, time to “opt-out” of PFAS, led by the Mind the Store program of Toxic-Free Future in partnership with Safer States and other organizations. REI’s announcement also comes after numerous states have taken regulatory action on PFAS in apparel and cookware.
On February 3, 2023, a train carrying hazardous chemicals, including toxic vinyl chloride, derailed in East Palestine, Ohio. Vinyl chloride is a deadly toxic chemical used to create polyvinyl chloride (PVC), one of the most widely produced plastics in the world used to make flooring, pipes, and packaging.
Today, Safer States released its 2023 analysis of anticipated toxic chemical related policies across the country, finding that PFAS “forever chemical” policies will, again, dominate policy agendas in states nationwide–with at least 28 states expected to consider PFAS-related policy. Addressing plastic pollution and toxic chemicals in cosmetics are also expected to be key focus areas for many state policies in 2023. Altogether, at least 31 states will consider approximately 260 bills on toxic chemical policies in 2023.