- California lawmakers advanced a bill last week to ban polyfluoroakyl substances – or PFAS – from cleaning products sold or manufactured in the state.
- If enacted, the ban would take effect Jan. 1, 2025 and fine violators up to $5,000 for the first violation and up to $10,000 for subsequent violations.
- The new bill adds to California’s growing list of laws restricting the sale and manufacturing of PFAS from the state. Two existing laws banning PFAS from cosmetics and textiles will both go into effect at the start of 2025.
California is one of a growing number of states creating policies to regulate or ban “forever chemicals,” known for their slow breakdown in the environment and in humans.
PFAS are found in a variety of commonly used products, from cosmetics to cookware and wetsuits. The chemicals, while ubiquitous throughout the U.S., are known to cause adverse health effects in humans, including an increased risk of cancer.
Advocacy group The Environmental Working Group reported that over 2,800 communities within the U.S. and its territories are contaminated with PFAS, as of June 2022.
In addition to restrictive policies, some states are also filing lawsuits against chemical manufacturers that use PFAS in their manufacturing, accusing them of contaminating natural resources, such as drinking water. California is one of at least 10 states to sue PFAS manufacturers for contaminating their residents and environments, with Maine and Kentucky joining the list in the last few months.