Ban PFAS in Textiles (CA AB1817-Ting)
At a Glance
The California Safer Clothes and Textiles Act (AB 1817) introduced by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D- San Francisco) would make clothing and textiles safer for all of us by banning the sale of clothes, outdoor gear, and other textiles containing toxic PFAS ‘forever’ chemicals in CA.
PFAS ‘forever’ chemicals are linked to many serious health problems including breast and other cancers, birth defects, hormone disruption, kidney and liver damage, and thyroid disease.
PFAS are known as ‘forever chemicals’ because they don’t break down for centuries. They build up in our bodies and the environment, endangering us and future generations.
Widely used in clothing, outdoor gear, and other textiles (e.g. table cloths, curtains, furniture, mattress pads) to repel stains and water, textiles containing PFAS pollute people and the planet throughout their production, use, and disposal.
AB 1817 passed the Assembly by a vote of 52 to 24 (2 abstentions) on May 23. It is now in the Senate.
Key facts about PFAS in textiles:
- Safer alternatives for stain- and water- resistance for clothing and textiles already exist, as demonstrated by the numerous companies that have stopped using PFAS.
- PFAS chemicals contaminate our bodies: they can be detected in the blood of nearly every American.
- Disposal of products, including textiles, in landfills, through recycling, and through incineration, may result in PFAS chemicals seeping into groundwater and soil, contaminating drinking water, and entering the atmosphere. Contamination from these methods of disposal disproportionately impact environmental justice communities and add to the global burden and impact of these forever chemicals.
- PFAS chemicals disrupt our immune systems, increasing our risk for COVID and reducing the health protective effect of vaccines. Studies show PFAS chemicals are linked to decreased antibody response to vaccines.
- PFAS can build up in our bodies and it is estimated that over 98% of Americans have PFAS in their blood. PFAS can be transferred from mothers to their babies through the placenta before birth and through breast milk after birth.