I am a student at Colby College and am asking readers to urge their Maine lawmakers to pass L.D. 1433, a bill that will phase-out toxic perfluroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) chemicals in Maine’s food packaging.

PFAS chemicals are highly persistent, bioaccumulative toxins that are commonly found in consumer and industrial products, ranging from non-stick sprays to firefighting foam. Humans are exposed to PFAS chemicals often by way of ingesting contaminated food and water. The chemicals are linked to complications and disruptions of child development, female fertility, and natural hormone functions. They are also known to cause an increased risk of cancer.

As informed Mainers we must do everything we can to limit these harmful toxins from our daily lives. The solution is L.D. 1433, which would phase out PFAS chemicals found in everyday food containers such as pizza boxes, microwavable popcorn bags, sandwich wrappers and more. PFAS chemicals in these products come in direct contact with the foods we eat, and thus, pose serious health risks.

L.D. 1433 would require food container manufacturers to report their chemical uses, find safer alternatives, and prohibit the sale of concerning chemicals that have been intentionally introduced. Besides protecting consumer safety, this bill would also create affordable safer alternatives to PFAS chemicals, and thus protect Maine food businesses and restaurants by limiting high economic costs in the pursuit of human health and safety.

After studying the incredibly harmful effects of PFAS chemicals in Gail Carlson’s Environment and Human Health course at Colby, I am writing as a passionate Maine student and resident who wants the best for the safety and health of the state. Let’s fight to keep our favorite foods free of harmful PFAS toxins.

 

Caroline Stoddard

Waterville


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