Two more states, California and Illinois, are implementing or proposing new bills that target cookware coated with polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
The Illinois bill, the PFAS Reduction Act, would restrict the sale of specified products that contain intentionally added PFAS beginning Jan. 1, 2025. According to the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers (NAFEM), products on the proposed prohibited list include cookware currently defined as “durable household items used to prepare, dispense or store food, foodstuffs or beverages.”
The California law, Assembly Bill No. 1200, went into effect Jan. 1, 2024, and requires manufacturers of cookware to disclose the presence of PFAS and more than 3,000 chemicals on the internet and product labels. It also prohibits manufacturers from claiming cookware is PFAS-free unless certain conditions are met, NAFEM noted.
PFAS are synthetic chemicals that are often used in products that need slippery coatings such as non-stick cookware or food packaging, but can also be found in semiconductors, clothing, and a wide range of plastics. Their resistance to degradation has drawn environmental scrutiny and increased research into their impact on human health. Last July, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce published a letter opposing a proposed U.S. Senate bill that would have greatly limited the use of PFAS in products. At the time, the U.S. Chamber urged legislators to proceed carefully until there was a consistent federal definition and more was understood about the practical implementation challenges. The bill has been assigned to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs and has had any action taken since November 2023.