OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Washington Legislature has approved a measure that would ban certain toxic chemicals from paper food packaging if state regulators identify safer alternatives.
The Senate passed House Bill 2658 late Wednesday on a 30-17 vote and it now goes to Gov. Jay Inslee. The House earlier approved the measure.
The bill would ban chemicals known as PFAS in food packaging such as microwave popcorn bags as early as 2022, but only if the Department of Ecology identifies less toxic alternatives.
The group Toxic-Free Future says the ban on PFAS in food packaging would be the first such in the U.S. if it’s approved by the governor.
A separate bill to ban the sale of firefighting foam containing the chemicals has also cleared both chambers but still needs to be reconciled.
Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl have been detected in drinking water at or near some military bases in the state.
The Environmental Protection Agency says exposures to PFAS chemicals are known to have adverse effects in laboratory animals and humans.