“In the U.S., chemicals are innocent until proven guilty,” said Kyla Bennett, director of science policy at Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, a nonprofit based outside Washington, D.C. “In the EU and Japan, chemicals are guilty until proven safe — and that’s why they have fewer PFAS.”
That lack of regulation in the U.S. is driving states to take matters into their own hands, pursuing PFAS bans as gridlock and industry lobbying in Washington thwart tougher federal laws. Minnesota’s crackdown on PFAS limits the chemicals in menstrual products, cleaning ingredients, cookware, and dental floss. Maine’s law will ban all avoidable uses of PFAS by 2030. Vermont and California ban PFAS in food packaging.