Issue Date: October 6, 2008
Governor Signs Green Chemicals Bills, Vetoes Ban On PFCs
Last week, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) signed legislation promoting the use of greener chemicals in the state. The two-bill package (A.B. 1879 and S.B. 509) establishes a state regulatory system to encourage phaseout of toxic compounds in consumer products and development of more environmentally friendly ones (C&EN, Sept. 8, page 9). The governor says the legislation “puts an end to the less effective chemical-by-chemical bans of the past.” Meanwhile, Schwarzenegger vetoed legislation to ban use of some perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) in food wrappers, a bill (S.B. 1313) the chemical industry fought hard against. The chemicals are used to make paper grease-resistant. The measure would have prohibited the use in food packaging of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), homologs of PFOA and PFOS that contain seven or more fluorinated carbon atoms, and PFCs that break down in the environment into PFOA or PFOS. PFOA and PFOS bioaccumulate and are linked to health problems.
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