With retailers and restaurants recently teaming up to purge their inventory of dangerous “permanent chemicals,” consumers can feel a little better supporting some of their favorite companies.
Composed of 23 brands With a total of nearly 84,000 physical stores and $ 570 billion in annual sales, the new alliance is uniting against a class of chemical pollutants called various substances PFAS, PFOA, PFOS, or polyfluoroalkyl.
The diversity of retailers, from Chipotle to Home Depot, from REI to TJ Maxx, reflects the true nature of the threat. PFAS come from a wide variety of products, but have no known degradation pathway in nature, which gives them the nickname “permanent chemicals.”
They are found in the coatings inside popcorn bags, in waterproof raincoats, on the lining of non-stick Teflon pans.
They are aerosolized from industrial fire fighting foam and stain protectants for outdoor furniture and equipment, and are found in various other places, such as baked into industrial carpet fibers, making them a problem that has led to finding them in the Water. supply for up to 16.5 million Americans.
Recent corporate and legislative governance strategies have seen significant reductions in the use of PFAS in some places. For example, on July 15, Maine became the first US state to ban PFAS directly, except where it is currently unavoidable, for example in critical hospital supplies.
“I am proud to see Maine take steps that will change the conversation about how PFAS are regulated, not only by addressing the entire class, but by creating a requirement to avoid these persistent and toxic chemicals whenever possible,” stated Patrick MacRoy, deputy director. of Defend our health.
But the benefit to be gained from a company like McDonald’s that refrains from using any PFAS in their packaging is that their products end up all over the country and the world, and thus can protect people from its harmful effects without rely on the support of a local government agency.
The same goes for Target, Amazon, 7-Eleven, Food Lion, Wendy’s, Panera Bread, Lowes, and others.
Know your enemy
Safer Chemicals Healthier Families—An organization that provides excellent oversight of the status of pollutants and harmful chemicals and the products that generally contain them, the scientific work that identified them, and the world government ordinances that prohibit them — asserts that, while likely all humans in the US have PFAS in their body, there are steps everyone can take to minimize their risk.
PFAS are a major contaminant in drinking water and they recommend contacting your local water supplier and requesting a PFAS test or purchasing a PFAS water filter.
Another method is to stay away from takeout containers, popcorn bags, or packaged foods. They too provide a list of brand name containers that are certified PFAS free.
MadeSafe, another resource for identifying common toxic chemicals In everyday household cleaning and hygiene products, it will tell you which ones tend to contain PFAS.
Avoid Teflon or other nonstick coatings on pans, do not use if you have left them at too high a temperature for too long, and if the nonstick coating is not as nonstick anymore, remove them. bread.
An important detail has emerged in the battle to prevent chemicals in packaging products and drinking water on July 21. The House voted to pass a “Bill of Action” for the PFAS. The new legislation will be enacted more slowly than 23 brands with at least $ 570 billion in sales eliminating PFAS immediately.
HR 2467, if passed in the Senate, would give the EPA one year to designate PFOS and PFOA as harmful chemicals, but five years to determine whether to designate PFAS as a harmful substance and a harmful air pollutant.
Along the same lines, a national standard for drinking water will be established for these chemicals, that is, how much contamination is legally allowed, over a period of two years.
The bill suggests that products must have a label containing PFAS, but that such a label must be voluntary.
In short, it’s a small victory, and we should be proud of the American brands, states, and cities that aren’t waiting to ditch a toxic chemical as soon as they can.
HOPE is Forever – Share this plastics story with friends on social media …