Would states such as Maine and Minnesota continue to use essential products containing PFAS even after the substances are banned? How will banning PFAS impact the integrity of medicines or the food cold chain that has refrigeration requirements? The answers are not clear.

What is even more troubling: some state policymakers are placing their hopes on the development of substitute substances that can replace PFAS in the near-term. Despite the scientific community making inroads on research for alternatives, it is a long and complex road before any of these substitutes can be widely implemented. 

While it is vital to carefully assess the health and environmental impacts of individual substances, it is critical to recognize that not all substances included in overly broad definitions of PFAS share the same hazard and risk profiles. 

Banning PFAS substances without scientific justification presents challenges to meeting carbon neutrality goals and risks unintended consequences of inadequate substitutions. State policymakers should be pragmatic about how PFAS are defined and regulated to avoid broad-brush bans in a piecemeal fashion. 

For more information, read globalFACT’s latest opinion piece, The Case Against Rushing To Restrict PFAS, live now in Route Fifty.