(CBS4) – A bill restricting the sale of consumer products containing PFAS, commonly known as “forever chemicals,” has passed both the Colorado house and senate, and is on its way to the governor’s desk to become law. The bill stipulates some PFAS products will be banned as early as 2025.
PFAS, or perfluoroalkyl substances, are a class of highly resistant chemicals used in all sorts of everyday products, from non-stick cookware to waterproof clothing and carpets. They’re called forever chemicals, because they can build up in the body over time, and can cause a host of health problems, including cancer, thyroid issues, and birth defects, according to the EPA.
The bill, HB22-1345, had bi-partisan support.
It will require companies to phase out PFAS in carpets, furniture, cosmetics, juvenile products, some types of food packaging, and the fluids used in oil and gas production. The bill would also require labeling of cookware containing PFAS.
HB33-1345 will also require full containment and safe storage of waste when PFAS-based firefighting foams are used in firefighting.
The Colorado Public Interest Research Group supported the bill. CoPIRG Director Danny Katz says the bill will help prevent PFAS pollution that contaminates drinking water, and will help protect the public from PFAS exposure when using household items.
“We already know there are some viable alternatives for those products,” Katz told CBS4. “So, let’s phase those out as quickly as possible, and then let’s create a system so that our state can continuously monitor, identify and then get rid of any other forever chemical-laden products.”
A CoPIRG study recently found some major clothing companies have no plans to phase out forever chemicals from their clothing lines. Katz hopes the bill will motivate companies to get on board.
“It’s important that the state take action. It’s important that companies take action,” Katz said. “It’s possible to produce these things without PFAS, and it’s not worth the risk to produce these things with PFAS.”
Currently, the EPA is eyeing further regulatory actions for PFAS in public drinking water systems. https://www.epa.gov/pfas/epa-actions-address-pfas
CBS4 Investigates reported last year that some Colorado water districts found elevated levels of PFAS in their water following voluntary testing.
HB22-1345 is sponsored by Representatives Lisa Cutter and Mary Bradfield, and Senators Julie Gonzales and Pete Lee.
Groups that supported the bill include Colorado Chapter of the American Association of Pediatrics, Aspire Colorado, Audubon of the Rockies, Aurora Water, Boulder County, Centennial Water and Sanitation District, City and County of Denver, Clean Water Action, Colorado Rising, Colorado Springs Utility, Colorado People’s Alliance, Colorado Public Health Association, Colorado Public Interest Research Group (CoPIRG), Colorado Sierra Club, Colorado Water Congress, Colorado Wastewater Utility Council, Colorado Water Utility Council, Conservation Colorado, Denver Water, Earthjustice, Ecocycle, Good Business Colorado, Fountain Valley Clean Water Coalition , Green Latinos, League of Women Voters, Madhvi4EcoEthics, Metro Wastewater Recovery, North Front Range Water Quality Planning Association, Northwest Council of Government’s Water Quality and Quantity, People and Pollinators Network, Public Employees For Environmental Responsibility, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Roxboro Water and Sanitation District, South Metro Water Supply Authority, South Platte Renew, Stratmoor Hills Water & Sanitation District, Town of Firestone, and Ute Water Conservancy.