Clean Water Action is fighting to protect our waterways, and our bodies, from toxic PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances). Thanks to the efforts of our members and allies, the Rhode Island General Assembly passed two bills to protect Rhode Islanders from toxic PFAS in the 2022 session including a ban on the use of PFAS in food packaging. Now, the next step is a comprehensive ban on toxic PFAS in a wider range of products in 2023.
PFAS are a class of human-made chemicals that are incredibly persistent in the environment and also highly toxic. They have been linked to cancers, birth defects, and other health problems. We are exposed to PFAS through multiple sources. For some people, the main source of contamination is through drinking water. Drinking water can become contaminated with PFAS by fire fighting foam, the discarding of manufacturing and chemical waste, and landfill leachate.
But we are also exposed through the products we use and consume every day. Use in consumer products is common because PFAS adds a grease-, oil-, and water-resistance to materials that would otherwise not have that quality. Unfortunately, that means PFAS are found in a lot of different products including carpets, cosmetics, cookware, outdoor apparel, firefighting foam, stain-resistant treatments, and even juvenile products like baby bibs! This is why we need the Rhode Island General Assembly to take action! We need to reduce our exposure to PFAS in our homes and in our environment, with a focus on protecting young children. We can’t protect our waterways from these toxic “forever chemicals” if we continue to manufacture and consume products containing PFAS.
A comprehensive PFAS ban would widely expand the list of products that must be free of intentionally-added PFAS in order to be sold in Rhode Island. Consumers should be able to know that the products they bring into their homes do NOT contain dangerous toxic additives.
You can help! Send a message to your state legislators thanking them for the steps they have taken to reduce our exposure to PFAS so far, and ask them to support a comprehensive ban. We have a sample message already written for you to sign!