Earth911 explores the health implications and regulation of a substance that pollutes our food, water, and environment: Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS. Lauren Olson, zero waste manager at World Centric, joins Earth911 again, this time to share how PFAS are used in food service items, waterproof clothing, and other products, as well as the challenges they create when composting products.
PFAS have been associated with many health problems, including immune system disorders, high blood pressure, liver disease, and kidney and testicular cancer. Word Centric makes 100% compostable food packaging and tableware for restaurants and the home and is calling for new regulations on PFAS.
The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a bill from Michigan Congresswoman Debbie Dingell to regulate and require labels on products and packaging that contain PFAS, which are also known as “forever chemicals” because they do not break down for decades or centuries in landfills, compost piles, or the environment. Dingell is also contemplating legislation that would completely ban PFAS, and World Centric is ready to support the bill. The company recently introduced Leaf+, a compostable PFAS-free line of fiber tableware, a product category that is frequently contaminated by PFAS — in the lining and sometimes the paper itself.
Take a few minutes to learn about the status of Rep. Dingell’s legislation, the sources of opposition, and how to recognize when a product might contain PFAS.