Rep. Lewis Testifies at PFAS Interagency Task Force

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The following is a press release from Rep. jack Patrick Lewis’ office submitted to SOURCE media.

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BOSTON – State Representative Jack Lewis discussed two of his PFAS-related bills during a hearing of the PFAS Interagency Task Force, chaired by Speaker Pro Tempore Kate Hogan and Senator Julian Cyr yesterday, October 5.

PFAS are a group of chemicals used to make coatings and products that resist heat, oil, stains,
grease, and water. PFAS may affect reproduction, thyroid function, the immune system, and injure the liver.

The Ashland & Framingham state representative began his remarks, “thank you to both the chairs of this task force, Speaker Pro Temp Kate Hogan and Senator Julian Cyr. In addition to successfully advocating for your communities and constituents, you each take the lead on such important issues that touch everyone in the Commonwealth, and your service as the co-chairs of the PFAS Task Force is appreciated by me and my constituents as well. Even for residents who don’t yet know what PFAS is, your leadership on this issue will save lives. There really is no other way to put it.”

Rep. Lewis is the lead sponsor of H2348, An Act to ban PFAS in food packaging and
H2350, An Act restricting toxic PFAS chemicals in consumer products to protect our health.

On H2348, Lewis noted, “As this task force makes decisions moving forward, I hope it will consider joining Maine, Washington State, California, Connecticut, Minnesota, New York, and Vermont in banning PFAS in food packaging. Alternatives exist and by including this ban in your recommendation, residents of the Commonwealth can rest assured that this dangerous chemical is not entering our food and by extension our bodies”

On H2350, Lewis added that the is bill would ban “PFAS from carpets, rugs, and furniture textiles, and from aftermarket sprays applied to these products, along with banning PFAS in personal care products, car seats, and cookware. Our neighbor to the north, Maine, has recently taken a similar step in keeping PFAS from our homes and our bodies, especially in cases where alternatives exist and are widely available.”

In a past task force meeting, Robert Bilott noted the dangers of the “forever chemicals.” Bilott took on chemical companies and won a $4 billion settlement for 3,535 personal injury settlements over exposure to PFAS. His story was portrayed by Anne Hathaway and Mark Ruffalo in the blockbuster film Dark Waters (2019).

Representative Lewis adds, “the topic of per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances is incredibly
important to the health and safety of our Commonwealth’s families.”

Photo submitted to SOURCE media

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