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Dingell Bill to Ban PFAS in Food Containers & Cookware Receives Key Hearing

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the Energy and Commerce Committee’s health subcommittee held a hearing on Congresswoman Debbie Dingell's (D-MI) legislation to ban the use of toxic perfluorinated compounds (PFAS) in food containers and cookware.

“PFAS are toxic, forever chemicals that are everywhere – including food containers and non-stick cookware and countless other everyday products,” said Dingell. “Just this week, the city of Ann Arbor found high levels of PFAS in and around the compost facility likely due in part to the presence of food containers containing PFAS. This issue is here, it is threatening public health and our environment now, and we need to act. My important legislation ensures unsafe, hazardous chemicals are not allowed near the food we eat.”

Video of Congresswoman Dingell at Wednesday’s hearing is available here.

Recent attention has focused on PFAS in ground water and the environment. These harmful substances are frequently used to greaseproof, waterproof, and give nonstick properties to food containers, cookware, and consumer products. The Environmental Working Group found that as many as 40 percent of fast food wrappers and paper products tested positive for fluorine chemicals. Peer-reviewed studies found that PFAS chemicals in food containers can contaminate food. PFAS chemicals have been linked to liver disease, thyroid dysfunction, and several forms of cancer.

Dingell’s Keep Food Containers Safe from PFAS Act empowers the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to deem PFAS substances in any food containers or cookware as unsafe. The bill gives the FDA until 2022 to enforce this ban. The text of the bill is available here.

Dingell leads efforts in Congress to combat and address PFAS contamination. In early January, the House of Representatives passed bipartisan legislation led by Dingell that comprehensively addresses PFAS contamination in Michigan and across the country. Dingell’s PFAS Action Act lists select PFAS chemicals – PFOA and PFOS – as hazardous substances within one year under the Superfund program to direct federal resources to clean up contaminated sites and limit their spread. It would also require EPA to make a determination on all remaining PFAS chemicals within five years, among one of many provisions.


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