PROVIDENCE – In a huge victory for public health, the Rhode Island House voted today to pass H7438 which bans toxic PFAS and heavy metals in packaging including food packaging. Clean Water Action worked closely with the bill’s lead sponsor, Rep. Terri Cortvriend (D-72), for over four years to win this critical protection for Rhode Islanders.
“As an organizer and as a mom, I am thrilled to see H7438 pass the House today. Rhode Island families are one step closer to knowing that the packaging their food comes in is free of toxic PFAS,” said Michelle Beaudin, Clean Water Action’s Interim State Director. “Now, we need the Rhode Island Senate to pass this bill too.”
“Toxic PFAS chemicals should be nowhere near our food, our children, or our homes. I am so proud to see H7438 cross the finish line in the House today, and I look forward to seeing my colleagues in the Senate pass it next,” stated Representative Cortvriend. “This is the first step towards a comprehensive plan to protect Rhode Islanders from these toxic chemicals.”
PFAS are a class of human-made chemicals that are incredibly persistent in the environment and also highly toxic. PFAS have been linked to cancers, birth defects, and other health problems. Despite this, they are still found in packaging, including food packaging, as well as in many household items like carpets, outdoor apparel, and even baby bibs.
Clean Water Action is working to pass two bills that will ban the use of PFAS in certain packaging and products in order to reduce Rhode Islanders’ exposure to these toxic chemicals.
- The Toxic Packaging Reduction Act (H7438/S2044) bans PFAS and heavy metals in packaging including food packaging.
- The Comprehensive PFAS Ban Act of 2022 (H7436/S2449) prohibits the use of PFAS in specific products like carpets, upholstered furniture, textile furnishings, apparel, cosmetics, juvenile products, cookware, and firefighting foam. It also requires the disclosure of the use of PFAS in all products.
Since our founding during the campaign to pass the landmark Clean Water Act in 1972, Clean Water Action has worked to win strong health and environmental protections by bringing issue expertise, solution-oriented thinking and people power to the table.