New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a bill into law that would ban PFAs in clothing by Dec. 31.
PFAS, or perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl, are a known endocrine disruptor prevalent in clothing and other everyday aspects of life — from takeout containers to non-stick cookware. Otherwise known as “forever chemicals,” their lingering effect once in the bloodstream has partly fueled their repeat inclusion in agendas of national and state legislators.
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Senate bill, or S6291A, was sponsored by Sen. Brad Hoylman and Assemblywoman Pat Fahy, and was introduced in April 2021. The bill was passed by the state legislature last May and officially signed into law Dec. 30 (under chapter 820), as confirmed by the governor’s office.
As with previous legislation, the bill involves any “intentionally added chemical” like those for waterproofing performance apparel. Apparel spans undergarments, shirts, pants and other items for sale in New York state.
Though other types of PFAs have long been banned in New York state (with PFAs in food packaging regulated since 2020), these latest efforts forecast practices nationwide, as the Biden administration’s Environmental Protection Agency looks to limit the substances. California, for one, is another state with legislation banning PFAs in clothing.
Similar to that bill, the New York apparel bill focuses on “intentionally added chemical” or those that serve an intended function in the product. For common apparel, that includes clothing for regular and formalwear but not specialty performance apparel.