SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Yesterday, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed the Environment and Natural Resources budget following a bipartisan agreement reached with the Senate. The compromise budget will help preserve Minnesota’s air, water, land, and wildlife for future generations. It includes a provision authored by Rep. Ami Wazlawik (DFL – White Bear Township) to protect Minnesotans from harmful chemicals.
“People shouldn’t be exposed to harmful chemicals in their home, workplace, or community,” said Rep. Wazlawik. “This bipartisan budget takes several steps to protect our environment and public health, such as banning takeout containers and other food packaging products that contain PFAS. Reducing exposure to these ‘forever chemicals’ will help Minnesotans stay safe and healthy.”
The measure originally authored by Rep. Wazlawik prohibits using per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in food packaging. It will help reduce exposure to these chemicals and decrease the number of products containing PFAS in Minnesota landfills, a common source of groundwater contamination. The new provision will take effect on January 1, 2025.
PFAS are known as “forever chemicals” because they build up in the environment and the human body instead of breaking down. At certain levels, these chemicals may increase an individual’s risk of developing serious health issues. Studies indicate that pregnant women and infants may be more vulnerable to the health risks associated with exposure to PFAS.