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AGs from 18 states argue for further restrictions on 'forever chemicals'

AGs from 18 states argue for further restrictions on 'forever chemicals'
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Attorneys general for 18 states want the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to enact stricter rules as it weighs importation restrictions on products laced with a cancer-linked chemical.

The class of chemicals known as PFAS is used in a variety of nonstick products, such as cookware, raincoats and even stain-resistant carpet.

They’ve been called “forever chemicals” both because of they are indestructible and because of their persistence in the human body. Studies have found PFAS in the blood of 99 percent of those tested.

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States argue the EPA should restrict importation of items that contain long-chain forms of PFAS anywhere in the product rather than those that use PFAS only in any product coating. 

“The final rule should be broadened,” states wrote in a letter led by California, “to prevent exposures to harmful substances before they are introduced into the marketplace.”

The EPA has yet to finalize the proposal, which was introduced in March.

“The purpose of the public comment period is to hear from all interested in EPA’s draft analysis. The agency appreciates the perspective of the states and will review these comments with others,” an EPA spokesperson said by email.  

The comments were filed by California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.