“There are toxic chemicals in my food?!”

That was my reaction when I learned that there are toxic chemicals in food packaging, and why I strongly support L.D. 1433, “An Act to Protect the Environment and Public Health by Further Reducing Toxic Chemicals in Packaging.” L.D. 1433 would reduce environmental and human exposure to perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, in Maine.

I’m a senior at Colby College, where I’ve spent the past semester studying chemicals like PFAS and their human and environmental health consequences. PFAS chemicals are used in food packaging for to increase the flexibility of plastic and other packaging. They’ve been linked to cancer, thyroid disruption and poor reproductive outcomes in humans and lab animals, yet we continue to use them in our food packaging, even when safer alternatives exist.

Maine is a leader in creating safer chemicals policy, regulating BPA in 2011 and 2013 under the Kid-Safe Products Act and flame-retardant chemicals in 2017. We need to regulate PFAS chemicals to reduce the body burdens and adverse health impacts associated to these harmful chemicals.

As a college student and a young person, I see the value in regulating PFAS, as it will ensure our food is packaged safely for future generations. I hope Maine can continue to serve as a leader in creating safer chemical policy by taking a stance for human and environmental health. Please support L.D. 1433.

 

Catherine Fraser

Waterville

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