New Washington state bill is the “fastest timeline in the nation” for phasing out PFAS

April 7, 2022

Read the full article by Grace van Deelen (EHN)

"A new Washington state bill, signed into law last Thursday by Gov. Jay Inslee, aims to phase out PFAS in select consumer products by 2025.

It’s the “fastest timeline in the nation,” Laurie Valeriano, executive director of advocacy group Toxic-Free Future, told EHN.

PFAS, which refers to per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, are often used in consumer products as an additive, usually to make stain- or water-resistant materials. The chemicals can also be unintentionally introduced into products via manufacturing or packaging, and are linked to multiple negative health outcomes including some cancers, reproductive problems, and birth defects, among others.

The new bill, HB 1694, bans the use of PFAS in a range of these products, including apparel, non-stick pans, cosmetics, cleaning products, and firefighter gear after 2025.

“We know that these chemicals threaten the health and safety of every plant, animal, and human that calls this state home,” state Rep. Liz Berry (D-Seattle), who sponsored the bill, told EHN. “These chemicals should not be in our products.”

Berry was inspired to create the bill after reading a 2021 study from Toxic-Free Future, which analyzed PFAS in breast milk and found that 100% of women tested had contaminated milk. “I'm a mom of two young kids. I breastfed with my babies,” said Berry. “I was terrified when I read more about what PFAS did, and I asked what I could do.”