U.S – The state of Minnesota is on the verge of passing legislation that will outlaw almost all PFAs uses there.
With a few exceptions, the prohibition would forbid the sale and distribution of goods in Minnesota that had PFAs added on purpose as of January 1, 2025.
Due to the long-term persistence of PFAs in the environment and the human body as well as the accompanying risks to human health, PFAs are also known as “forever chemicals” and have come under growing scrutiny.
Concerns have been raised about human dietary exposure to the chemicals since they are commonly used in products that come into touch with food, like nonstick cookware and packaging.
They can lead to health problems such as liver damage, thyroid disease, obesity, fertility issues, and cancer
Amara Strande, who passed away on April 14, 2023, at the age of 20, from a rare, incurable liver cancer that she had at the age of 15 as a result of PFAs exposure through contaminated water, inspired the name “Amara’s Law” for the proposed prohibition.
Very few PFAs-related uses, such as those in firefighting foam and protective apparel for firefighters, would be exempt from the prohibition.
The Minnesota House and Senate committee are debating the specifics of a larger environment and natural resources bill, which would include the ban.
The committee has approved the PFAs language that will be used. Tim Walz, the Governor of Minnesota, has also declared his support for the ban and said that he intends to sign it once the final package is ready.
Similar legislation has been approved in Maine and California, but Maine’s statute gives businesses a longer grace period to phase out the use of PFAs while California’s does not.
Some major businesses, like Chick-Fil-A, Restaurant Brands International, and 3M, have vowed to voluntarily stop using the chemicals since they are aware of their negative effects.
Additionally, the EU recently established restrictions for PFAs in specific foods, and the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have focused on regulating PFAs in drinking water, with the EPA designating specific PFAs as pollutants.
In March 2021, EPA issued a determination to regulate perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) as contaminants under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).
This year in March, it issued a determination to regulate perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), hexafluoropropylene oxide dimer acid (HFPO-DA), and ammonium salt (also known as GenX chemicals), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS), and mixtures of these PFAs as contaminants under SDWA.
Foods can be contaminated with PFAs due to the soil or water used to grow them. Further contamination can result from the concentration of these substances in the food that animals eat, such as feed or water itself.
PFAs can also be transmitted through food packaging or processing equipment.