ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) – On Thursday, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that bans the use of per- and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals (PFAS) in food packaging. Studies have linked PFAS chemicals to increased cancer risk, kidney disease, and weakened immune systems, among other negative health impacts.
Companies found violating the law will be subject to a $10,000 first-time fine with subsequent violations reaching up to $25,000 penalty.
“Today, New York joins Washington State and Maine in passing strong protections against cancer-causing PFAS chemicals in food packaging, such as pizza boxes and fast food containers from restaurants like Wendy’s and McDonald’s,” Senator Brad Hoylman said. “PFAS chemicals, which are called ‘forever chemicals’ because they’re practically indestructible, have been linked to harmful health effects including decreased fertility, weakened immune systems, low infant birth rates, and increased risks for certain cancers.”
The Environmental Protection Agency, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and NYS Department of Environmental Conservation say that any level of these chemicals is unsafe for New Yorkers. In alliance with environmental advocacy groups in the JustGreen Partnership, they believe PFAS have no place in food packaging.