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DeLauro Votes for PFAS Action Act

January 10, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (January 10, 2020) Today, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) voted in favor of the PFAS Action Act of 2019, legislation that would protect communities from the cancerous “forever chemicals” commonly known as PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), which is often found in food packaging and other consumer and industrial products.

Earlier this week, DeLauro spoke on the Floor of the House of Representatives in support of the bill. A full video of her speech can be found here, and below are her remarks as delivered:

Mister Speaker, I rise in support of this rule and the passage of the PFAS Action Act. This bill will build on the progress we made in the National Defense Authorization Act for 2020 by setting restrictions on PFAS contamination moving forward, and cleaning-up existing contaminations.

PFAS chemicals are a class of chemicals that could be cancer-causing. They are called forever chemicals because they never leave your body. They can be found in Teflon, Scotchgarde, firefighting foams, food packaging and increasingly, contamination from PFAS has been found in our food and water supply, too.

As many as 100 million Americans could be drinking tap water contaminated with PFAS, according to the Environmental Working Group.

This is alarming because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said exposure to PFAS can lower pregnancy rates, interfere with human body hormones, increase cholesterol levels, affect immune systems, and increase risks of cancer, while also affecting the learning, growth and behavior of children and infants.

This is serious. This fall, I held a briefing of the Congressional Food Safety Caucus where leading experts presented the dangers of the use of PFAS in food packaging and how these chemical additives can contaminate our food. That is why I have called for a ban on PFAS in food packaging and I am also proud to have joined Congresswoman Chellie Pingree to ask the Government Accountability Office to review the actions that are being taken at the federal level to evaluate the prevalence and risk of chemical food contamination.

There is no time for delay. The PFAS Action Act of 2019 is a comprehensive approach to protecting our communities from PFAS contamination. Let me commend my Democratic colleagues, especially Congresswoman Debbie Dingell and Chairman Frank Pallone. This bill will help ensure we are protecting people from these potentially cancer-causing, forever chemicals. I urge my colleagues to support it.