New bill will protect health, water supply by phasing out the “forever chemicals” PFAS

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Will phase out PFAS in products like carpets, furniture, cosmetics, juvenile products, food packaging, cookware, and fluids used in oil and gas production


DENVER – With Colorado facing increasing pressure on our water supply, a new bill at the Capitol will tackle PFAS, a type of chemical found in products like cookware, food packaging, and various juvenile products. Known as forever chemicals because they are specially engineered to be resistant to both heat and water, PFAS contaminate Colorado water and polluted communities such as Fountain, Frisco, Keensburg, South Evergreen and Denver, which can lead to serious health impacts for local residents.

“At a time when every drop of water matters, we can’t afford to contaminate any of it with indestructible chemicals that can cause huge health issues for anyone exposed,” said Danny Katz, CoPIRG executive director. “Colorado has rightly identified PFAS as a harmful pollutant that should be removed from firefighting foam. Now, it’s time to extend that to the dozens of other consumer products that may leach these chemicals into our waters and our bodies.”

According to bill sponsor Representative Lisa Cutter, “In Colorado, our water supply is precious, and even small amounts of PFAS have been linked to serious health problems. We can’t afford to equivocate on the well-being of our water and the health of our residents, and this is an important step to eliminate this dangerous toxin from our environment.”

“My House District is the location of the big PFAS contamination of ground water and the Widefield Aquifer,” said the other House bill sponsor Representative Mary Bradfield. “This bill deals with the consumer products that contain PFAS. Now that we know that PFAS is a potential health risk, we could be very surprised about how many products intentionally contain the PFAS compounds.  This bill provides a timeline for these products to be removed or replaced with products that contain a safer option than PFAS.”

Colorado has a track record of tackling dangerous PFAs pollution. According to the EPA, PFAS have been linked to serious health impacts like cancer, organ damage, and suppression of the immune system. Newborns and young children are especially vulnerable, especially in communities experiencing disproportionately historical amounts of cumulative air and water pollution.  

In previous years, a bipartisan coalition of legislators have passed bills to phase out PFAs from fire fighting foam after widespread contamination was identified, particularly near air force bases.This bill is the next, more comprehensive step.  

The bill restricts the sale of certain consumer products containing PFAS where safer and viable alternatives exist in the market, including carpets or rugs, mattresses, upholstered furniture, cosmetics, juvenile products, food packaging, cookware, and fluids used in oil and gas production. It will also create a pathway for removing all non-essential use of consumer products containing PFAS by 2031.

“We have to stop pollution at the source and it’s time we hold production accountable to keep it out of our water, our soil, and our air,” said Liz Rosenbaum, a longtime Fountain Valley resident. 

“Publicly owned clean water utilities like Metro are “passive receivers” of PFAS chemicals.  We do not produce, use or manufacture PFAS but, “receive” these chemicals through the wastewater that arrives at our treatment plants from homes and businesses. PFAS chemicals are being added to the water cycle through the use of everyday consumer products, that is why the best solution is to stop PFAS chemicals from being introduced into the water cycle in the first place by removing PFAS from consumer products” said Jennifer Robinett, Director of Environmental Services for Metro Water Recovery.

With water experts sounding the alarm around water shortage issues in Colorado and the state’s that rely on water that comes from Colorado, supporters of the bill highlighted that Colorado cannot afford to lose even a drop of water to PFAs contamination. 

Besides Colorado, other states have taken action recently to restrict PFAs including Maine, which passed a bill that will end the use of PFAS in products by 2030. Companies are also scrambling to remove PFAS from products like juvenile products, home furnishings, makeup, cookwares, and food packaging. Many leading brands have committed to replacing PFAS with less harmful chemistry, and Congress has mandated airports and the military stop using PFAS in firefighting.

“All across the Headwaters State people are crying out to TAKE ON TOXICS,” said Ean Tafoya, GreenLatinos Colorado state director. “It all adds up – water, air, and soil pollution harms people. PFAS contamination in Colorado is nation leading. It’s time to turn it off at the “tap” so we can start flowing towards a healthier future.”