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PFAS "Forever Chemicals"

Our Priorities

Safer States is at the forefront of a state-driven national movement to eliminate exposure to harmful PFAS “forever chemicals.” By building partner alignment and synergizing state action with market and federal action, we can stop the manufacture, distribution, and use of these dangerous chemicals, ensure cleanup of and protections for impacted communities, and move towards safer alternatives that ensure safe food, air, and drinking water for all.

Policies for Addressing PFAS

34 states have introduced 302 policies to protect people from toxic chemicals.
144 state policies have been adopted in 28 states.
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Introduced
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Adopted
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Introduced & Adopted

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State Drinking Water Limits

Eleven states (ME, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT, WA, and WI) have standards such as Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) for certain PFAS in drinking water. Maine has an interim standard that is in effect and enforceable while they go through rule-making to establish final PFAS MCLs. Delaware and Virginia have also begun the process of establishing standards for certain PFAS. Twelve additional states (AK, CA, CT, CO, HI, IL, MD, MN, NC, NM, OH and OR) have adopted guidance, health advisory, or notification levels for certain PFAS chemicals.

Nightmare Costs

Taxpayers are shouldering the costs of cleaning up PFAS contamination even though they didn’t cause it. Check out nonsticknightmare.org to learn how much your state has spent dealing with the PFAS crisis.

 

Nonstick Nightmare

State Attorneys General PFAS Lawsuits

As of April 2024, 30 US State Attorneys General (AGs) have initiated litigation against the manufacturers of PFAS chemicals for contaminating water supplies and other natural resources. These AGs include AK, AZ, AR, CA, CT, CO, DE (settled), DC, HI, IL, IN, ME, MD, MA, MI (settled), MN (settled), NH, NJ (settled), NM, NY, NC, OH (settled), OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, VT, WA and WI.

 

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PFAS: What's at Stake?

Frequently Asked Questions

What are PFAS? 

PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, have become notorious as drinking water contaminants as a result of industrial releases and use of firefighting foam. But chemical companies make and sell PFAS for a range of products, from stain-protection treatments for paper and textiles to non-stick coatings like Teflon, and our exposure comes from multiple sources.

Known as “forever chemicals” because of their remarkable persistence and mobility—they do not break down in the environment and can move through soil to contaminate drinking water—PFAS are global pollutants that threaten the health of people and wildlife. More.

How am I exposed? 

We are exposed to PFAS in food, from indoor air and dust, and in many cases, from drinking water. Food, air, and water have become contaminated globally as a result of manufacturing releases, use of PFAS-containing products and disposal. More.

Why should I be concerned? 

A growing body of scientific research has found links between PFAS exposure and a wide range of health problems including a weaker immune system, cancer, increased cholesterol levels, pregnancy-induced hypertension, liver damage, reduced fertility, and increased risk of thyroid disease. More.

Alliance Impact

States in the Lead

Governments, retailers, and brands are taking action to phase out PFAS in products to prevent contamination in favor of safer alternatives.

  • All Products: ME, MN, and WA have given state agencies the authority to ban PFAS in a wide range of products.
  • Apparel: CA, CO, ME, NY and VT have enacted phase-outs of PFAS in apparel.
  • Carpets/Rugs: Eight states including CA, CO, ME, MD, MN, NY, VT, and WA have adopted restrictions on PFAS in carpets, rugs, and/or aftermarket treatments.
  • Cleaning Products: CO, ME, and MN have enacted phase-outs of PFAS in cleaning products.
  • Cookware: CO, ME, MN, and VT have enacted phase-outs of PFAS in cookware.
  • Dental Floss: CO, ME, and MN have enacted phase-outs of PFAS in dental floss.
  • Firefighting Foam: Thirteen states including CA, CO, CT, HI, IL, ME, MD, MN, NH, NJ, NY, VT, and WA have banned the sale of firefighting foam containing PFAS.
  • Food Packaging: Twelve states including CA, CO, CT, HI, ME, MD, MN, NY, OR, RI, VT, and WA have enacted phase-outs of PFAS in food packaging.
  • Juvenile Products: Six states including CA, CO, ME, MN, OR, and VT have adopted restrictions on PFAS in juvenile products.
  • Menstrual Products: CO, ME, MN, and VT have enacted phase-outs of PFAS in menstrual products.
  • Personal Care Products: Eight states including CA, CO, ME, MD, MN,  OR, VT, and WA adopted restrictions on PFAS in cosmetics.
  • Retailer Action: 32 unique retail chains have committed to eliminating or reducing PFAS in food packaging, textiles and/or other products.