Policy Update

2020 Toxic Chemical Legislation Successes

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National

NCEL Point of Contact

Yinka N. Bode-George
Environmental Health Manager

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Despite many legislative sessions ending early due to COVID-19, legislators have still made significant progress in protecting people from toxic chemicals. We wanted to highlight some of these recent successes from all across the country: 

TCE Legislation

Minnesota became the first state in the nation to ban the use of Trichloroethylene (TCE), with SF 4073 signed into law on May 17th.  

PFAS Legislation

Washington HB 2265 was signed into law on March 18, 2020. This bill eliminates all exemptions from restrictions on use of PFAS in firefighting foam.

North Carolina recently introduced two robust bills to address PFAS chemicals. H 1109 would ban the manufacture, sale, and use of PFAS chemicals, while the other, H 1108, would comprehensively prevent and address contamination. Both bills were referred to their respective committees on May 18.

California SB 1044 prohibits the use of firefighting foam containing PFAS and does not include exemptions for refineries. This bill’s hearing is scheduled for May 29. 

Vermont S 295, which would comprehensively ban the use of PFAS in carpets, food packaging, and firefighting foam, passed in the Senate on May 22.   

Flame Retardant Legislation

Maryland SB 0447 passed in both chambers and became public law on May 8th. This bill prohibits the import, sale, or use of children’s products, mattresses, and upholstered and reupholstered furniture containing more than .1% of flame-retardant chemicals. 

New York Sen. Kaminsky introduced S 8214 this session, which would ban certain flame retardant chemicals in a host of consumer products, as well as in electronics.