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April 4, 2024

Legislation to Reduce “Forever Chemicals” Passes Committee

DENVER, CO - The House Business Affairs & Labor Committee today passed legislation to build upon efforts to reduce harmful “forever chemicals” in many household products. SB24-081, sponsored by Representatives Cathy Kipp and Manny Rutinel, would help prevent highly toxic chemicals from seeping into our environment and negatively affecting Coloradans’ health. 

“We continue work to reduce the harmful proliferation of PFAS, also known as ‘forever chemicals,’” said Rep Cathy Kipp, D-Fort Collins. “While we’ve made great progress, we must continue to phase out these dangerous chemicals in our everyday household items. This bill continues our 2022 efforts and helps us transition away from this toxic chemical and better protect Colorado’s water supply. Together, we’re protecting Colorado’s environment and public health by establishing a reasonable timeline for businesses to phase out their reliance on ‘forever chemicals’”. 

“PFAS, or ‘forever chemicals’ are dangerous for our water supply, environment, and can have adverse effects on our health,” said Rep. Manny Rutinel, D-Commerce City. “This bill builds upon important work to reduce ‘forever chemicals’ in items found in most homes. Eliminating ‘forever chemicals’ is the right thing to do for our environment and public health – this bill brings us closer to ridding Colorado of this toxic chemical once and for all.” 

SB24-081, passed committee by a vote of 8-2, and would make updates to the Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) Chemicals Protection Act. This 2022 law prohibits the sale or distribution of certain consumer products that contain intentionally-added PFAS chemicals and regulates the use and storage of Class B firefighting foam containing intentionally added PFAS. 

PFAS are synthetic chemicals developed to coat products to make them resistant to heat, water and oil. They are prevalent in a variety of products including nonstick cookware, water-repellent clothing, stain-resistant fabrics, cleaning products, and firefighting foams. PFAS break down very slowly in the environment and make their way into water sources, both poisoning the water supply and burdening water districts with billions of dollars in clean-up costs. Scientific research also suggests that exposure may lead to adverse health outcomes.

The bill adds additional products with intentionally added PFAS to the scheduled phase-out, including certain outdoor gear and cookware, ski wax, personal hygiene products, artificial turf and other textile articles. The bill also requires a disclosure to consumers of intentionally added PFAS in certain consumer products.  

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