Read Andrea Lovoll's Testimony on Banning PFAS
No Minnesota parent should have to worry that their children’s pajamas, crib mattress, or toys will one day cause them to have cancer. That is a failure of regulation, not of ours as parents. These bills directly advance public health by reducing pathways of direct exposure for Minnesotans.
Testimony by Andrea Lovoll, MCEA Legislative Director, Minneapolis Office, 1/31/2023
Addressed to the House Environment and Natural Resources Finance Committee on PFAS Bills
Thank you, Chair Rick Hansen, and thank you Representatives Carlie Kotyza-Witthun, Matt Norris, and, Athena Hollins for taking a proactive approach to curbing the growing spread of PFAS in our bodies and environment.
My name is Andrea Lovoll. I am the Legislative Director at Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, a nonprofit organization with almost 50 years of experience using law and science to protect Minnesota’s environment. MCEA supports these bills; they take measured yet significant steps towards addressing this public and environmental health crisis.
PFAS, per-flourylalkyl substances, is an umbrella term for a class of chemicals. They are “forever chemicals” that do not degrade over time, and are difficult and expensive to clean up. These chemicals are poisoning our drinking water, making our fish unsuitable for human consumption, and costing taxpayers millions of dollars in cleanup and associated costs.
Minnesota consumers are likely unaware that the products they buy for their children contain synthetic chemicals associated with a battery of adverse health outcomes. As a mom of a 2 year old, it deeply concerns me that my daughter could be exposed to PFAS chemicals in the products I buy to care for her, and I may not even be aware of it. No Minnesota parent should have to worry that their children’s pajamas, crib mattress, or toys will one day cause them to have cancer. That is a failure of regulation, not of ours as parents. These bills directly advance public health by reducing pathways of direct exposure for Minnesotans.
Importantly, these bills respond to the sirens sounded by our state agencies entrusted with protecting Minnesotans and the environment from toxic chemicals. We cannot clean our way out of the PFAS problem. Instead, as the PCA stated in its PFAS Blueprint, “the pollution must be prevented from the outset through restrictions or bans on PFAS uses.” That is precisely what these bills do.
In closing, I would like to remind everyone that we can thrive without PFAS in our everyday products. PFAS are manufactured chemicals that were never truly necessary. These bills aim to restore common sense by eliminating these chemicals from products Minnesotans use everyday. I urge everyone to heed the calls from our state scientists demanding Legislative help in combating these insidious chemicals by moving these bills forward.