After announcing a vaccine mandate for K-12 students once the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves the shot for all ages, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed two laws on Tuesday banning the use of “forever chemicals” in children’s products and disposable food packaging.
According to The Hill, the two laws pertain to the chemicals perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which have been “linked to kidney, liver, immunological, developmental and reproductive issues.”
“These so-called ‘forever chemicals’ are most known for contaminating waterways via firefighting foam, but they are also key ingredients in an array of household products like nonstick pans, toys, makeup, fast-food containers and waterproof apparel,” noted The Hill.
Introduced by Assemblywoman Laura Friedman (D) and set to go into effect in 2023, the first law aims to ban PFAS in children’s products like car seats and cribs. In a news release from the Environmental Working Group (EWG), Friedman the “safety and well-being” of her child motivated her legislation.
“As a mother, it’s hard for me to think of a greater priority than the safety and well-being of my child,” said Friedman. “PFAS have been linked to serious health problems, including hormone disruption, kidney and liver damage, thyroid disease and immune system disruption.”
“This new law ends the use of PFAS in products meant for our children,” she added.
In a press release, Gavin Newsom said the laws aim to harness the California spirit to “reduce the waste filling our landfills and generating harmful pollutants driving the climate crisis.”
Sponsored by Assemblyman Philip Ting (D), the second piece of legislation “bans intentionally added PFAS from food packaging and requires cookware manufacturers to disclose the presence of PFAS and other chemicals on products and labels online.”
That law will also go into effect in 2023.
Last week, Gavin Newsom announced that schoolchildren will be required to take the coronavirus vaccine to continue in-person learning once the shots have FDA approval, citing current vaccination mandates for measles, mumps, and polio.
“Once the FDA approves the vaccination in different cohorts starting with 12 and above, grades seven to 12, we will begin to apply that requirement in the next term, either Jan. 1 or July 1, whichever comes sooner,” Newsom said.
“Our schools already require vaccines for measles, mumps and more. Why? Because vaccines work. This is about keeping our kids safe and healthy,” the governor added in a separate statement to social media.