Californians Don’t Want PFAS in Their Clothes
A new poll shows 78% of Californians support a ban of PFAS in clothing and textiles
Many of us don’t know it, but toxic chemicals are often in the clothes we wear. That’s why NRDC is sponsoring AB 1817, California’s Safer Clothes and Textiles Act, with Breast Cancer Prevention Partners and Clean Water Action.
The bill would phase out the unnecessary use of toxic “forever” per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) chemicals in clothing and textiles, which can lead to PFAS pollution and exposure throughout their life cycle.
With AB 1817 now on its way to a senate floor vote, it’s worth noting some key developments that underscore the importance of and support for passing the bill to protect public health and the environment.
The vast majority of Californians support phasing out PFAS in clothing and textiles
The data from a recent public survey of 906 Californians shows that nearly four in five Californians (78%) are in favor of banning PFAS in clothing and textiles, with more than half (53%) saying they “strongly support” banning it.
Support also cuts across nearly all major demographic and geographic groups – by political affiliation, residential location, gender, age group, and race (shown in the graph below).
New York State legislature passed a bill banning PFAS in everyday apparel
The New York legislature passed a bill, S6291A, that prohibits the use of PFAS in everyday apparel, lending further support to the policies reflected in AB 1817.
Industry leaders are already demonstrating the feasibility of meeting the bill’s requirements
Industry leaders are already showing the way. The feasibility of eliminating PFAS from textile is demonstrated by the actions of companies that have already eliminated or committed to eliminating PFAS before 2025 in various categories: including product and fabric producers of general apparel, outdoor wear, home textiles, furniture, and footwear.
In addition to the commitments and actions taken by leading brands, many industry certifiers for textile products and manufacturing, including bluesign®, OEKO-TEX®, and ZDHC, have committed to including PFAS on their lists of restricted substances. In fact, in bluesign®’s new version of its Restricted Substance List, they use the same cutoff for certification that AB 1817 uses for products after 2027.
Because of the persistence of PFAS chemicals, the health harms associated with them, and the difficulty and expense of treating pollution, it is crucial that we stop all unnecessary uses of these toxic chemicals and act as early as possible. California can take a huge step forward and reduce a major source of PFAS exposure by passing AB 1817.
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AB 1817 by Assemblymember Ting would phase out PFAS in clothing and textiles sold in California.