By a vote of 43-12, the California Assembly approved Assembly Bill 1200 in January 2023. If it were to become law, it would outlaw PFAs (permanent food additives) from food packaging made of paper, paperboard, or plant-based materials, as well as require labels and public postings for any products that do contain PFAs, such as non-stick cookware. If this legislation passes, California will join Maine in 2022, New York in 2022, and Washington in 2018 to 2019 as the fourth state to ban PFAS from food packaging. “The National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2020 also bans the use of PFAS in food packaging for military meals after October 1. The bill also prohibits cookware companies from making false marketing claims implying that products are PFAS-free.”
Assembly member Ting states, “Federal regulations on PFAS allow companies to self-certify that a chemical used in their food packaging is safe, – That’s not good enough for me – not when our health and environment suffer the consequences. Manufacturers should use safer alternatives so that our families aren’t ingesting harmful chemicals.”
Bill would also ban false ‘PFAS-free’ marketing claims
Senior Advocate, California Government Affairs Susan Little also states,
“Because of a broken federal chemical regulatory system, states are stepping up to protect the health of its citizens
from hazardous chemicals added to food packaging, – the Environmental Working Group’s senior
advocate for California government affairs. This law will protect Californians by reducing their exposure to PFAS in food.”
“PFAS are also used in nonstick coatings for cookware and bakeware, and are released into air when the pots, pans and baking sheets reach high temperatures,” Little explained. “Products that claim to be produced without PFOA, the PFAS chemical that once was used to make DuPont’s Teflon, are often coated with another form of PFAS. This bill also prevents companies from claiming a product is free of PFOA if another chemical in the same family is present.”
PFAs are known to have a variety of health issues and even cancers associated to it through dyspepsia, as you have certainly discovered over time. Recently, it was discovered that this unending chemical can lessen the efficiency of immunizations, adding to the numerous fears that it stirs up. “Food is a major source of exposure to PFAS, and there is no reason these chemicals should be in packaging,” said David Andrews, Ph.D., a senior scientist at EWG. “In addition to PFAS leaching from food packaging into food, it can accumulate in fish and meat, and farmers may inadvertently contaminate their crops with PFAS when irrigating with contaminated groundwater or from using contaminated compost.”
PFA-related discoveries and experiments were active in 2017. The Environmental Working Group (EWG), an American activist organization that focuses on research and advocacy in the areas of toxic chemicals, drinking water pollutants, and corporate accountability, revealed in a report that the majority of fast food establishments continue to use packaging containing PFAs despite the fact that health risks associated with such materials have been well-known for more than ten years. Together, scientists from organizations like EWG collected and tested 327 samples of materials used to serve food to customers; 40% of the samples tested positive for fluorine. The lightest halogen, fluorine, is also an indication for PFAS and exists under normal conditions as an extremely hazardous, pale yellow diatomic gas. The journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters published a peer-reviewed publication with the complete study results.
In November of the same year, “two of the most notorious PFAS chemicals – PFOA, the Teflon chemical, and PFOS, formerly an ingredient in 3M’s Scotchgard, were added to California’s Proposition 65 registry of chemicals known to the state to cause reproductive toxicity. Inclusion on the registry means products that may expose consumers to PFOA or PFOS must carry warnings.”
Given the horrifying information concerning PFAs and the packaging of fast food, it is best to start managing our own health in relation to the food we consume. One of the easiest ways to keep our PFA consumption to a minimum is to prepare our meals with the proper equipment. Tools like stainless steel cookware will not only provide us the assurance that we will always have someone to help us prepare our meals, but they will also permanently rid our bodies of the chemicals found in fast food packaging, cheap nonstick coatings, and contaminated water.