Report: 260 Bills Target Toxic Chemical Policies

Feb. 6, 2023
Addressing plastic pollution and toxic chemicals are expected to be key focus areas for many state policies this year

Safer States, a U.S.-based alliance of environmental health organizations and coalitions, released its 2023 analysis of anticipated toxic chemical-related policies, finding that PFAS “forever chemical” policies will dominate policy agendas nationwide–with at least 28 states expected to consider PFAS-related policy. Altogether, at least 31 states will consider approximately 260 bills on toxic chemical policies in 2023.

Highlights of the report, 2023 Analysis of State Legislation Addressing Toxic Chemicals and Materials, include: 

Phasing out PFAS uses: At least 16 states will consider policy to regulate PFAS such as restricting all uses of PFAS except those that are currently unavoidable; requiring disclosure in products; and/or targeting consumer product categories such as cosmetics, textiles, food packaging, firefighting foam, artificial turf, cookware, ski wax, fracking fluid, and pesticides. These states include AK, CT, HI, IA, MA, MN, MI, NH, NJ, NY, NV, OR, PA, RI, VT, VA.

Addressing harmful plastics and packaging: At least 22 states will consider policies to eliminate problematic plastics and chemicals from plastic and other forms of packaging and/or support the use of reusables. Multiple states will consider policies that don’t allow packaging to be labeled recyclable if it isn’t truly recyclable and/or contains heavy metals or PFAS. Several will consider policies that directly limit key toxic plastics and chemical additives, and/or create systems that require less plastic, fewer toxic chemicals and no false solutions to manage plastic pollution. These states include AK, AZ, CA, CT, GA, HI, IL, IA, MD, ME, MA, MI, MN, NH, NJ, NY, OR, RI, TN, WA, WV, VT.

Chemical disclosure and restrictions: At least 8 states will consider policies to strengthen existing or adopt broad safe products policy, create new disclosure provisions or create specific restrictions on particular chemicals of concern. These states include IA, MA, MN, NJ, NY, OR, TX, WA

Stronger accountability and better end-of-life solutions: At least 13 states will push for stronger accountability and better end-of-life solutions including AK, IA, IN, MA, ME, MD, MI, MN, NH, NY, OK, OR, WA. Specifically, at least 7 states (IN, ME, MD, MI, MN, NH, NY) will consider policies for medical monitoring, liability and/or extending the statute of limitations for PFAS lawsuits. In addition, at least 9 states (AK, IA, MA, ME, MD, MN, OK, OR, WA) will consider restricting PFAS disposal, ban incineration, and/or consider solutions to the challenge of addressing PFAS in sewage sludge.

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