Cancer-Causing Chemicals Found In Many Everyday Items In New York
New York State is trying to protect residents from exposure to harmful chemicals in everyday items.
The New York State DEC is reminding New Yorkers of several new laws that took effect at the start of Jan 1.
New Laws for Household Cleaning, Personal Care, Cosmetics, and Food Packaging To Help Prevent Public Exposure
These new laws should help protect Empire State residents and the environment by reducing exposure to harmful chemicals in everyday items, officials say.
"DEC prioritizes the health and well-being of New Yorkers and our environment, and the implementation of new laws for chemicals in everyday household products is part of our state's ongoing commitment to protect communities," DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. "With the start of the new year, these stringent requirements will build upon our nation-leading efforts to prevent exposure to emerging contaminants."
The laws should protect New Yorkers from chemicals like 1,4-dioxane, PFAS and other chemicals. These chemicals are typically found in cleaning products, personal care, cosmetics, food packaging and children's products, according to the DEC.
PFAS In New York State
PFAS are manmade chemicals that have been used in products since the 1940s.
"These chemicals' unique properties make them resistant to heat, oil, stains, grease, and water and useful in a wide variety of everyday products. One of the PFAS' was widely used in fire-fighting foam. These same properties also make PFAS challenging when found in our environment. PFAS do not break down easily and persist in the environment, especially in water. Because of widespread use, PFAS releases into the environment have been detected in surface water, groundwater, animals, and humans worldwide," the DEC states.
PFAS which are called "forever chemicals" have been linked to many health issues including cancer, officials say.
PFAS is found in a number of items including clothing and food packaging.
Intentionally-added PFAS in food packaging, made from paper, paperboard, or other plant-derived materials, is now illegal in New York State.
Products of this type containing intentionally added PFAS cannot be sold in New York State after Dec. 31, 2022. The restriction of PFAS in food packaging was enacted under the Hazardous Packaging Act. Additional information on the prohibition of PFAS in food packaging is available on the DEC website.
1,4 Dioxane Found in Household, Personal Care, and Cosmetic Products In New York State
As of Dec. 31, 2022, New York State will only allow two parts per million (PPM) of 1,4-dioxane in household cleaning products like laundry detergents and personal care products. A 10 ppm limit is now in effect for cosmetics sold in New York.
"1,4-Dioxane is a synthetic industrial chemical commonly associated with chlorinated solvents and was widely used as a chemical stabilizer in other formulations," the DEC states. "The toxicity and persistence of this compound in the environment represent a growing challenge; once released, this emerging contaminant is extremely costly to clean up from the environment, treatment technologies to remove 1,4-dioxane from drinking water supplies are complex and costly."
Like PFAS, 1,4-Dioxane, could cause cancer.