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Commentary: Maine’s PFAS Reporting Law Skips Science for Politics

Whenever elected officials issue public health warnings, the public reasonably assumes that legislators are acting on sound and proven science. The Maine legislature largely deviated from this practice with the passage of LD 1503, a law to stop the pollution of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances.

Disinfection specialists wearing disposable coveralls are cleaning and disinfecting water tanks. Nurhan/

This title sounds very serious, but the intentional inclusion of the word “pollution” makes it even more serious. In fact, Maine residents lost their way. What law lacks science it more than makes up for in politics, a testament to the activism of a nanny state where ideology trumps fact.

The group of chemicals specified in this new state law is called PFAS for short. These chemicals are currently under scrutiny by numerous state and federal governments through the Environmental Protection Agency. LD 1503 will ban the sale of all non-essential products containing PFAS by 2030, making it the most restrictive law in the country.

To date, there is little scientific consensus about the extent to which PFAS threaten public health.

Let’s start with what we know. PFAS chemicals are central to the modern economy and quality of life for all Americans. These chemicals are essential in medicine, energy, textiles, manufacturing, agriculture, and even make it possible to put your mobile phone in your pocket. Since the 1940s, PFAS have been highly prized for their unique properties, such as resistance to heat, water and corrosion, as well as their inert nature that makes their behavior stable and predictable when integrated into products. did.

Banning them would only reduce the products available at a much higher cost to every Maine family.

Without PFAS, many simple items such as non-stick cookware, dental floss, rust preventatives and stain resistant cloths are lost. But that’s not where potential danger exists. Whether or not these products are ultimately exempt, the technology to safely perform dozens of medical procedures, medical grafts, grafts, stent implants, and other procedures in a sterile environment today is without PFAS. there is not. PFA is also present in devices such as catheter tubing, heart patches, and sterile needles, just to name a few.

Losing PFAS isn’t just about going back to copper pans and toothpicks. Strictly enforced bans can impact effective and innovative products that are critical to our health, financial well-being and quality of life.

In many ways, the Environmental Protection Agency is still working for answers on PFAS. Making rules without the big picture is like making decisions blindfolded and throwing darts. This is especially true for Maine, given the enormous cost and burden that LD 1503 will place on Maine’s economy as a whole.

The bottom line is that this harsh and restrictive rule will increase burdens and reduce incomes for Maine workers, families and retirees. Businesses will be forced to expend vast amounts of time and resources to discover and inventory PFASs in their products, driving consumer costs up again and certainly driving businesses out of the state. To do.

All of Maine’s newly elected leaders have called for prioritizing the state’s economy for Maine’s families, workers and retirees. An economy that grows, creates jobs, and does everything in its power to beat the scourge of inflation. A big first step in keeping this promise is to put the brakes on LD 1503 and not undermine the statewide economy based on loose science.

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