Two laws banning the use of toxic “forever chemicals” in children’s products and disposable food packaging in California, have been signed into law by California Governor Gavin Newsom.
The governor’s office also announced a package of bills aimed at improving recycling efforts across the state.
“California’s hallmark is solving problems through innovation, and we’re harnessing that spirit to reduce the waste filling our landfills and generating harmful pollutants driving the climate crisis,” Mr Newsom said in a statement, to accompany Tuesday’s signings.
PFAS are a group of toxic compounds linked to kidney, liver, immunological, developmental and reproductive issues, reportsThe Hill. Known as “forever chemicals,” they are present in firefighting foam, which leads to contaminated waterways and are also key ingredients in everyday domestic items including nonstick pans, toys, makeup, fast-food containers and waterproof clothing.
One of the laws, introduced by Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, prohibits the use of PFAS in children’s products such as car seats and cribs as of July 1 2023.
“As a mother, it’s hard for me to think of a greater priority than the safety and well-being of my child,” said Ms Friedman in a statement. “PFAS have been linked to serious health problems, including hormone disruption, kidney and liver damage, thyroid disease and immune system disruption. This new law ends the use of PFAS in products meant for our children,” she said.
The second law bans intentionally added PFAS from food packaging and requires manufacturers to label cookware products that use PFAS and other chemicals with warnings. It comes into effect on January 1, 2023.
Mr Newsom also signed a law banning the use of misleading recycling labels as part of a raft of measures aimed at overhauling the state’s recycling operations.
“With today’s action and bold investments to transform our recycling systems, the state continues to lead the way to a more sustainable and resilient future for the planet and all our communities,” Mr Newsom said.