Bill Extends Department of Defense PFAS Prohibitions to Other Federal Agencies
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Bipartisan legislation authored by U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Jerry Moran (R-KS) to ensure that all federal agencies are purchasing products that are free of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that continue to threaten the health and safety of people across the nation has advanced in the Senate. Current law prohibits the Department of Defense (DoD) from procuring products that contain certain types of PFAS, and this bill would extend those restrictions to all federal agencies. The federal government owns facilities across the nation, including hospitals operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Customs and Border Protection facilities, and Social Security Administration buildings. These facilities employ more than 1.8 million federal workers and are frequently used by veterans, seniors and others. Requiring federal agencies to stop procuring products that contain PFAS will help protect these individuals from being exposed to toxic PFAS chemicals. The bill was advanced by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee where Peters serves as Chair, and now moves to the full Senate for consideration.
“Toxic PFAS chemicals can be found in everyday items such as cookware, carpets, and furniture,” said Senator Peters. “This bipartisan legislation will stop federal agencies from purchasing products that contain PFAS, and will help better protect the health and safety of Michiganders and Americans who rely on federal facilities for critical services.”
“The State of Maine has been at the forefront of efforts to identify and address contamination from PFAS, which are known to be harmful to human health,” said Senator Collins. “Recent legislation enacted by Congress required that the Department of Defense (DoD) purchase PFAS-free cookware, carpets, and furniture for our servicemembers. Our bipartisan legislation extends these existing DoD procurement restrictions government-wide, ensuring that all federal employees can use everyday items without concern for their personal health.”
“I’m pleased to introduce this legislation with Sen. Peters to phase out federal procurement of products that contain harmful PFAS chemicals,” said Senator Moran. “This legislation is an important step to help protect our communities from harmful chemicals and to make certain our families and loved ones remain safe from dangerous toxins.”
PFAS are a class of more than 4,700 highly-fluorinated man-made chemicals that have been widely used in industry and consumer products due to their ability to repel water, oil, and heat. Over the last few decades, emerging science has shown that PFAS have an adverse impact on human health and the environment. PFAS exposure has been linked to a number of detrimental health effects, including an increased risk of cancer, damage to the immune system, decreased fertility, birth defects, liver disease, and thyroid disease.
The PFAS-free Procurement Act would extend DoD’s sensible procurement restrictions on certain types of products containing PFAS across the federal government. Specifically, this bill would prohibit the heads of executive agencies from procuring cookware, utensils, carpets, furniture, and other items that contain certain PFAS substances. This bill would also require heads of executive agencies to prioritize the procurement of PFAS-free products where available.