Great news has come out of California! They have banned dangerous hormone-disrupting chemicals in food packaging and restricted them in cookware. You’ve trusted Mamavation to bring you topics like safest cookware without PFAS & nanoparticles, safest period underwear without PFAS, and safest collagen without dangerous levels of heavy metals, now join us as we bring you the good news about the State of California banning dangerous PFAS “forever chemicals” in food packaging and paper straws and mandating labeling of PFAS on cookware.
Disclosure: This post was medically reviewed by Sondra Strand, RN, BSN, PHN.
The State of California Bans PFAS “Forever Chemicals” Following Connecticut, Maine, Minnesota, New York, Vermont & Washington
California Governor Gavin Newsome signed legislation on October 5th, 2021 joining other states like Connecticut, Maine, Minnesota, New York, Vermont, & Washington banning and restricting PFAS in food packaging and cookware.
- Ban on Food Packaging: This new law bans the entire class of PFAS “forever chemicals” from food packaging, paperboard, utensils, and paper straws. The ban will go into effect on January 1, 2023.
- Labeling Transparency on Cookware Products: It also requires manufacturers to label cookware containing toxic PFAS chemicals on product handles or coatings by January 1st, 2024.
- Labeling Transparency Online for Cookware Products: In addition, cookware companies will have to make the chemicals used on the coatings of their pots, pans, and other cookware known on their websites beginning on January 1st, 2023,
- Restriction on Marketing for Cookware: Cookware companies are also restricted from using marketing terms like “PFOA-Free” if the cookware uses any other chemical from the PFAS class of chemicals, which will cut down on customer confusion.
- More Restrictions on Marketing for Cookware: Cookware companies are also banned from making false marketing claims that their cookware is “PFAS free” if it contains any chemical in the class of over 9,000 PFAS chemicals.
Studies on Prevalence of PFAS “Forever Chemicals” In Food Packaging
Several studies have been done over the years looking at the ubiquitousness of PFAS “forever chemicals” in food packaging and cookware.
- In 2017 a study was conducted on 400 fast-food wrappers & containers finding that more than half of the bread and dessert wrappers collected contained fluorine, which indicates PFAS “forever chemical” contamination. It was present in nearly 40 percent of sandwich and burger wrappers, and 20 percent of french fry paperboard.
- A study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives in 2019 looked at levels of PFAS in people who ate fast food versus those who ate home-cooked meals and discovered that after 24-hours, the people who ate from fast food consistently had increased amounts of PFAS in their blood than those who ate home-cooked meals.
- A study in Chemosphere in August of 2021 found that 36 out of 38 paper drinking straws that were tested and collected contained detectable levels of PFAS. This study also showed that when the straws were used, they transferred PFAS into the beverages or water as it traveled through the straws demonstrating human exposure.
- A report by the Ecology Center in 2020 found that 80 percent of cooking pans and 20 percent of baking dishes that were gathered and tested contained PFAS coatings. They also looked at the type of marketing that was used on these packages and some of the pans were marketed as not containing one type of PFAS chemicals when it contained other types. Thus demonstrating cookware companies were attempting to confuse the consumer into thinking they were completely safe.
Potential Health Effects of PFAS “Forever Chemicals” from Decades of Research
PFAS “Forever chemicals” have been linked with a long laundry list of medical problems and symptoms. Here are some of the most relevant findings for families to be wary of:
- reduction in immunity
- metabolic diseases like obesity & diabetes
- reduced vaccination response
- cardiovascular disease
- affect the growth, learning, and behavior of infants and older children
- increased risk of allergies & asthma in young children
- lower a woman’s chance of getting pregnant
- increase the chances of miscarriage
- increase cholesterol levels
- low sperm count
- smaller penis size
- increase the risk of cancer like testicular & kidney cancers
Investigations Mamavation Has Done Around PFAS “Forever Chemicals”
- Mamavation tested 12 ketchup products for indications of PFAS and reported on levels of products.
- Mamavation tested 8 bamboo flooring brands for indications of PFAS and reported on levels inside products.
- Mamavation tested 19 period underwear products for indications of PFAS and reported on levels inside the crotch of those panties.
- Mamavation tested 6 parchment paper products for indications of PFAS and reported on levels of that packaging.
Here’s some additional testing on indications of PFAS Mamavation has done: