PFAS in Food Packaging

Problem: Toxic PFAS chemicals don’t belong in food packaging.

PFAS chemicals are a class of chemical used to make products grease proof, water-proof, and stain-resistant.  They are added to:

Food Packaging: pizza boxes, food wrappers, take out containers, microwave popcorn bags, disposable trays, and bakery bags;

Non-stick pans such as Teflon;

Textiles like waterproof coats and stain proof clothes and carpets

In food packaging, PFAS chemicals migrate from the food packaging into food–and our bodies.  

PFAS chemicals have been dubbed “forever chemicals”, because they are extremely persistent, lasting thousands of years.  Every American tested has PFAS in their blood.  That’s a problem because very small doses of PFAS increase the risk of a wide variety of health problems, including cancer, birth defects, high cholesterol, and other harmful effects.

In 2005, due to a major environmental class action lawsuit, industry stopped manufacturing  two of the most harmful chemicals, PFOA and PFOS.  But, these two chemicals have contaminated water systems across the country, where they continue to cause harm.

Industry has replaced PFOA and PFOS with similar, but slightly modified chemicals.  Unfortunately, research shows that these replacement chemicals are also toxic.


Solution: Ban PFAS in food packaging.  

There are safe, cost-effective ways to make take out containers and food packages.  Scientists and governments across the globe are struggling to figure out how to clean up PFAS in drinking water.  One simple step we can take now is to stop putting PFAS in packaging, where it gets into our bodies, our compost and our environment.

Rep Jack Lewis (D-Framingham) has introduced HD3750, “An Act to Ban the Use of PFAS in Food Packaging,” and Senator Michael Moore (D-Millbury) has introduced S1315, “An Act Relative to Chemicals in Food Packaging” to ban PFAS.


What you can do:

  1. Get the name and contact information of your state representative and senator at: https://malegislature.gov/StateHouse/Contact
  2. Ask your representative to support HD3750 and your senator  to support S1315, the bills to ban PFAS in food packaging.
  3. Join the Healthy Tomorrow action list to learn about next  steps to get dangerous PFAS chemicals out of food.
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