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USA: New York bans PFAS in food packaging

DECEMBER 2020 - HARDLINES

New York State will ban the use of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (also known as PFAS) in food packaging. The Governor of New York State has recently signed the Bill S88171 which is an act to amend the Environmental Conservation Law. It is the first time of New York State to include PFAS substances in the Environmental Conservation Law (ENV) - Hazardous Packaging (Article 37 Title 2).

Effective 31st December 2022, the distribution, sale and offer for sale in New York of food packaging containing PFAS substances as intentionally added chemicals are prohibited (in accordance with new section 37-0209 in ENV). Per the Act, food packaging means a package or packaging component that is intended for direct food contact. It is substantially comprised of paper, paperboard or other materials derived from plant originally. The intentionally added chemicals are those chemicals serving an intended function in the product component per description in section 37-0901. 

PFAS substances are a class of fluorinated organic chemicals containing at least one fully fluorinated carbon atom (the family includes PFOA, PFOS and other chemicals with similar chemical makeup). These man-made chemicals can be used as non-stick components in food packaging to repel grease. When they are leached into food consumed, they can enter human’s bloodstream and pose health impacts. High levels of PFAS in blood can link to kidney cancer, testicular cancer and birth defects. Besides, they can enter environment by disposal of PFAS contained food packaging, using fire-fighting foam containing PFAS and contamination from chemical plants.

[1]  Bill S8817

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