Stop PFAS Pollution Act
By Maryland Legislative Coalition — Climate Justice Wing
and Susan Olsen, Our Maryland’s Mike Pretl Fellow
PFAS chemicals, also known as “forever chemicals” because they do not biodegrade, are polluting our waterways and putting health at risk. These toxic chemicals are linked to serious health impacts, including cancer, immune system deficiencies, high cholesterol, and low fertility, as well as developmental issues in children and infants. They are highly persistent and bioaccumulate – a dangerous combination.
PFAS is a class of more than 5,000 chemicals used to make products grease or waterproof. They are commonly used in cookware, food packaging, outdoor apparel, carpets, and firefighting foams. PFAS are also widely used in industrial processes and then discharged into waterways. They are even used in food packaging to make the packaging more resistant to grease and water. People are mostly exposed to PFAS through contaminated food and water.
The CDC has found these chemicals in the bodies of nearly every American they have tested. Across the country, the drinking water of millions of Americans is tainted by these toxic chemicals. Maryland, like many states, does not require testing for PFAS in drinking water, but some (independent) testing has uncovered contamination in and around more than a dozen military sites in Maryland and additional research suggests that PFAS chemicals are likely present at some level in drinking water across the state and country.
In an age of remarkable technological progress, we should be able to make food packaging, carpets, and cookware without putting our drinking water and health at risk. In order to protect our communities from exposure to toxic PFAS, the Stop PFAS Pollution Act would comprehensively address PFAS contamination by adopting some of the country’s strongest PFAS policies:
1. Turn off the tap on new contamination: stop the use of PFAS in food packaging as well as in rugs and carpets.
2. Hold polluters accountable: ensure that chemical manufacturers are legally and financially responsible for contamination of our waterways from PFAS.
3. Protecting our air and water: ban the mass disposal of these chemicals by incineration.
These bills, sponsored by Delegate Love and Senator Elfreth, need your support. Please contact your legislators as soon as possible and ask them to vote for the Stop PFAS Pollution Act. You can find contact information for your Delegates and Senator here.