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Progress as CT bill to restrict PFAS in consumer packaging passes out of Environment Committee

Source: Clean Water Action and Coalition for a Safe and Healthy CT

More than 65,000 stores worldwide pledge to eliminate or reduce
toxic PFAS “forever chemicals” in food packaging

Connecticut General Assembly’s Environment Committee voted favorably on
Senate Bill 926—An Act Concerning the Presence of PFAS in Consumer Packaging, a bill
that would restrict the intentional addition of PFAS chemicals, known as ‘forever chemicals’
from consumer packaging, including food packaging by 2023.

The bill’s passage out of the Committee coincides with a new report released today by the Mind
the Store campaign and the Coalition for a Safe and Healthy CT, that finds significant chemical
policy improvement with nearly 70% of companies surveyed having better chemical safety
programs now compared to their first evaluation dating as far back as 2016 and twelve major
retailers with more than 65,000 stores worldwide pledging to eliminate or reduce toxic PFAS
“forever chemicals” in food packaging.

“SB 926 is a top priority this year as we must turn off the tap of these toxic chemicals in
products, especially when safe alternatives exist. PFAS chemicals leach out of packaging and
harm public health and the environment.” stated Anne Hulick CT Director Clean Water
Action and coordinator, Coalition for a Safe and Healthy CT. “Residents don’t want toxic
chemicals in products and SB 926 is a common-sense initiative. That is also why we’re seeing
major retailers and manufacturers worldwide shift away from the use of PFAS.”

“Despite a global pandemic and incredibly challenging year, retailers have continued to make
substantial progress in reducing and eliminating classes of toxic chemicals like PFAS.” “We
applaud retail leaders for stepping up to drive harmful chemicals out of consumer products and
packaging,” explains Mind the Store campaign director Mike Schade, co-author of the
report.

“Consumers deserve quality goods and services, not toxic chemicals that harm health and the
environment,” said Louis Rosado Burch of Citizens Campaign for the Environment. “We
urge the CT General Assembly to pass SB 926 this year. The Retailer Report Card shows that
companies can take action and offer transparency, so consumers can make healthier decisions
about the products they buy for their families. CCE applauds companies like Apple, Target,
Whole Foods and Sephora, who received top marks for their efforts to eliminate toxic chemicals
in their products and packaging. Companies with failing grades such as Subway, Ace Hardware
and 7-Eleven need to implement substantive changes and do more to safeguard the health of their
customers. SB 926 is a reasonable bill that will push these companies to step up.”

“Workers are the first to be exposed to toxic chemicals during production of consumer
goods. Those occupational exposures can and do result in illnesses such as cancers or
neurological disorders. ConnectiCOSH strongly supports SB 926 to eliminate toxic PFAS
chemicals in packaging and applauds those retailers who are actively taking action to eliminate
toxins in the products from their supply chains, stated Pamela Puchalski, Connecticut Council
on Occupational Safety and Health.

Hacah Goggins, nurse and environmental health coordinator for CT Nurses Association
added “As a nurse and a mother of two young children, I am deeply concerned about the large
body of research that links toxic chemicals in products to serious health impacts. PFAS
chemicals contaminate our drinking water and leach out of products. They are strongly linked to
certain cancers, liver disease, thyroid disruption and even impaired immunity. CT Nurses
Association urges passage of SB 926 and is pleased to see more retailers taking action.
To access the full retailer report card, visit www.RetailerReportCard.com.
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