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  H2348 , An Act to Ban the Use of PFAS in Food Packaging and Senator Michael Moore (D-Millbury) has introduced  S1494, An Act Relative to Chemicals in Food Packaging.

What you can do:

PFAS infographic v2 12-21-17 600 x 600

Don't let toxic PFAS ruin your lunch!

Together Forever: Move over, Jane the Virgin.  Holyoke teenagers Jaylynn Rentsas, Dolly Colón-Rivera, Jerry Cruz, Josiah Vazquez and Marian “Luna” Villalobos worked with filmmaker Ali Pinschmidt to produce this short, 4 minute video, explaining how your next take out meal might be delivering a few unwanted ingredients.

Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow

c/o Clean Water Action/Clean Water Fund
88 Broad Street, Lower Level
Boston, MA 02110


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