On July 23, 2020, New York took a major step to become the third state in the country to ban the use of PFAS in food packaging. While not yet signed into law by Governor Cuomo, the New York State Legislature passed legislation (S.8817 and A.4739-C) that bans per- or polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in food packaging sold or distributed in the state, effective in 2023. The bill broadly bans the use of all PFAS, a class of over 7,000 chemicals that include PFOA, PFOS, and GenX. More specifically, the bill prohibits anyone from “distributing, selling, or offering for sale” any food in packaging that contain PFAS chemicals.
The EPA has indicated that it is possible for people to be exposed to PFAS in low levels through food, which can become contaminated through food packaging. In addition, during the biodegradation of consumer goods such as food packaging, humans could be exposed to PFAS chemicals, according to the EPA. However, the EPA itself has not set any limits on the amount of PFAS that are permissible in food packaging, nor is there any consensus in the scientific community as to whether PFAS from food packaging can lead to health issues in humans.
Nonetheless, the bills passed the New York Legislature without much fanfare or debate. When signed into law, New York will join Washington and Maine as the only states in the country to ban PFAS use in food packaging.
CMBG3 Law is following judicial, legislative, administrative, and scientific developments relating to PFAS. More information about the services we can provide, including risk assessments, to ensure your business is ready for any intersection with these substances can be found on our PFAS Litigation page.
Our attorneys have been at the forefront of PFAS issues, including giving presentations as to the future waves of litigation stemming from PFAS issues. For more information, please contact any of our PFAS – Toxic Torts Team: Jessica Deyoe, Suzanne Englot, Alexandra Fraher,or John Gardella.