New York state is set to ban the use of PFAS chemicals in the manufacturing of apparel and clothing under a law signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul.
The measure is set to take effect on the final day of 2023.
Environmental organizations had sought to ban PFAS, or perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl, chemicals over concerns the usage can be toxic to people. At the same time, washing the garments can lead to the chemical seeping into groundwater and the drinking water supply.
PFAS are considered "forever chemicals" by advocates who have sought to ban their usage in a variety of consumer and industrial goods in recent years.
“It’s fantastic to see New York joining California in phasing out toxic ‘forever’ PFAS chemicals in clothes. It’s important that we do away with unnecessary uses of these harmful chemicals wherever possible to protect people’s health and safety,” said Avi Kar, senior attorney and senior director for Health & Food at the National Resource Defense Council. “This is not the first PFAS law New York has passed, and it shouldn’t be its last. New York continues to build on its leadership by enacting this law that adds to previous bans on PFAS in firefighting foam and paper-based food packaging.”
The measure was sponsored by state Sen. Brad Hoylman and Assemblywoman Pat Fahy.
“This year was another marked by strong action taken by New York State on reducing the public’s exposure to dangerous and toxic chemicals,” Fahy said. “Gov. Hochul’s signature of my legislation banning toxic PFAS chemicals in common forms of apparel will continue New York’s reputation as a national leader in PFAS action. All of these actions ensure that New Yorkers will be at the forefront of protecting the public’s health and reduction of exposure to dangerous and toxic classes of chemicals.”